My one month NaBloPoMo exploration of the art of blogging draws to a close this very day. I had several interesting Q&A sessions, explored some of my own sojourns to the local arts scene and been a bit more pensive than usual. My project was slightly derailed when I learned that my dog has a cancerous tumor on his leg and by a few rounds of writer’s block. So I didn’t achieve a perfect 30 day NaBloPoMo (or touch my record 8 month streak), but that’s okay.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Blogging is an art form.
2. Blogging is not an art form.
3. Blogging might be an art form.
4. Blogging about art is different than the art of blogging.
5. Blogging is a form of civic engagement.
6. Blogging can make the high arts (and the low arts) more accessible to the general public.
7. Art is political so blogging is political.
8. Blogging about non-political things is not political. Unless …
9. The word flaneur.
10. Blogging about this topic will force me to confront my nemesis, the word ‘journaling.’
In short, I learned that my friends have a variety of opinions on these questions. Also, they have an interesting array of artistic interests outside of blogging – from trumpeting to documenting public art and beyond.
Inspiration does comes from strange quarters. I’ve discussed how literature, music and stage performances impact my blogging, but I haven’t really delved in to television or movies. This weekend, we watched the Swedish film “We Are The Best” a lovely coming-of-age story about 3 young punk rock fans who happen to be girls. We capped that with “The Punk Singer” documentary about Kathleen Hanna, frontwoman of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre and The Julie Ruin which was also excellent.
I did not expect to get a huge dose of inspiration from punk rock and Third Wave Feminism, but inspired I was (after I repeatedly pointed out to Ledcat that the documentary had almost no person of color on screen in spite of repeated comments about challenging racism.) I have just added a whole new way of amplifying to my 2015 Artist in Residency project.
In sum, I have shifted my thinking from skepticism about my identity as an artist to a more general comfort level with using art to advocate for my vision and my community. I don’t think I’ll ever say “I’m an artist” when asked about my vocation, but I can feel myself embracing my creative work as something that has value for the world.
A big thanks to my friends who answered my Q&A – David DeAngelo, Maria Lupinacci, Joe Wos, Chelle Stein and Vannevar Bush. A big thanks to my friends who tried valiantly to meet my deadline during the holidays, but were unable to do so. I’ll probably return to this question in early 2016 (after my residency) so we’ll see what happens.
Big thanks to Nina Sauer and Erin Gill for co-presenting with me at Podcamp Pittsburgh and allowing me to discuss some of these themes.
And the biggest thanks of all to my Ledcat who gallantly accompanies me to the symphony and plays, curls up to watch Netflix documentaries and lets me bounce my ideas off her ad nauseum until I find the right angle. She’s definitely my muse.