I have been remiss on my UMW Blogs postings lately, I have been too absorbed with flaming conference attendees (not to mention email lists) that I have lost my center, my home, my love! But, like any good companion, as soon as I return to UMW Blogs it fills me up with joy and strength—even I know this intro is nuts 🙂
So upon catching upon on my UMW Blogs reading and commenting I discovered that more and more the outside world is entering the conversation on these blogs. The mysterious Uncle Lumpy blog is a perfect example of this. The authors are highlighting contemporary artists and artworks from all over the place, and recently posted about Véronique Côté’s fascinating art explorations into women’s identity in fairy tale myths. Well, Vèronique was not beyond commenting on this feature article about her work, and sharing a bit about her future projects. For me the model of Uncle Lumpy really is a game changer for UMW Blogs, these students are doing it of their own volition and quickly amassing attention (with a following and all) by regularly using this blog space to reflect and feature the work in the art world (not to mention the pancake kitchen) that they are intrigued with. This blog defies the limits of the traditional classroom blog, for it always already has its eye towards the outside world!
Another wild conversation happening on UMW Blogs comes from Professor Marjorie Och’s Venice Seminar blog, where she recently posed a question about whether “advertisers [should] be allowed to post ads on monuments that are covered with scaffolding and under restoration?” A few students where talking about the economic and culture implications of huge ads on scaffolding that hides historic landmarks, and the potential necessity of compromising, while others found it to be an outrage. What is even cooler, is that the British company that was responsible for the ads referred to in the article professor Och referred the students to also chimed into the discussion with his perspective:
As the Managing Director of the UK company responsible for these temporary adverts in St Mark’s Square in Venice I would like to say the following.
Without sponsorship of the restoration project through tempoary advertising these wonderful, historic buildings would not survive for future generations to enjoy as you are doing now. Have any of your readers personally contributed to the up keep of Venice and its buildings?
Without our massive financial commitment to the project these buildings would be left to crumble until they have to be covered in a scaffold for many more years just to keep them from falling on you when you visit Venice.
We have been restoring the Marcian Library for 2 years now without adverse comment but now the editor of Arts Newspaper has taken a personal dislike to the adverts she is pumping these rumours and half truths to anybody who will listen
This is a short term issue for the long term good of Venice but we don’t expect to be persecuted for doing something positive rather than just talking about it.
How sick is that?! People are reading what we do, and are joining the conversation. Our ideas are not isolated from the world in which they are circulated, the work of UMW’s finest is part of the endless river of opinions and ideas that inform this moment, and serve to shape it in some real and lasting way. So, yes indeedy, a publishing model like UMW Blogs is breaking down the walls that our institutional fears and trusty vendor partners would like to hide us behind!