Mission Statement

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out ways of being able to keep track of ideas, thoughts, connections, and other written permeations of my practice. The difficulty of having a scattered, and at times often multi-valanced, practice is that it is hard to know where to categorize and prioritize ideas.

I’ve been inspired by the proposition blog of Chris Coy and Tom Moody’s mixed use site. I’ve also been influenced by my monthly postings on Bad at Sports and how that has informed and shaped my practice – in production, distribution, and reception. I’ve become curious how the act of writing, even in the most superficial/unedited form can start to become a sharper tool for my practice as a whole.

This inspiration is also motivated by needing to find a place to offer ideas and sketch out thoughts in a more casual format. Last year I had a kind of “criticism” tumblr that I found helpful, but also not very sustainable. I wanted to be able to utilize the short-form format of that mechanism/platform, but the inception of that site prevented me from doing so (for probably completely personal, or artificial reasons).

I’ve also been inspired by professors/colleagues Frances Charteris and Mark Amerika, who have both encouraged and supported my wanting to incorporate literature and writing into future endeavors. To follow some these trajectories has become very important to me, and is something that I don’t want to neglect any longer.

I’m also slightly taking a cue from Brad Troemel and his much talked about essay The Minor League (posted orignially on Bien-Pensant, and now located on Karen Archey’s Image Consciousness column). In the essay, Troemel calls on contemporary net artists to develop their rhetoric more acutely in order to bolster and enhance the the medium and it’s surrounding discourse (Brad actually does a lot more than just this, but this call resonated with me).

I’ve found that the blog on my portfolio work site has evolved into something like an image/news board for updating and announcing visual thoughts and projects. Since text has been playing a larger role in my practice, I thought giving it a more dedicated place would be beneficial. In order to fulfill and make good on some much needed hashing out of concepts surrounding my own practice, I hope this project can service my own need for a tracing the trajectory of my work, as well as serve as a location for open dialog and discourse for other artists, writers, and thinkers.

This being said, the logistics of this site will involve a combination of reposts from other publications (specifically Bad at Sports and Art:21), playful quips, and diaristic writings/reflections on contemporary network-based projects and practices. In some way, the regularity of the moderated posts that I publish does not allow me to think quickly enough, or give me enough space to properly reply and reflect. In some ways, I acknowledge that this site is giving myself another thing “to do,” or possibly another thing “to abandon.” But the intentionality (and spontaneity) of this work will hopefully be enough motivation for me to sustain it.

Nicholas O’Brien
Feb, 2011

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