Yesterday morning about 60 people showed up at 8 am for Art Klatch at Cafe Presse. It was jammed. (This keeps happening: art community of Seattle, we definitely exist, and are only getting stronger.) The panel of discussers—basically, everyone has the floor, but only a few people are actually obligated to talk, on a certain subject—was moderated by Eric Fredericksen, and the guests were Regina Hackett, Matthew Offenbacher, and me.
The given subject, as described by klatch organizer Scott Lawrimore (and proposed by Fredericksen), was art writing: "The group will discuss the decline of the staff critic and art coverage in traditional media, the prospects for online publishing, and the growth in art writing by artists. They will also discuss the quality of online debate, with Jen Graves' recent article, 'The Vancouver Problem,' as a test case."
Hackett and I have been known to disagree, and we disagreed again (our arguments are like a well-made play at this point), but the best part for me was hearing artists like Gretchen Bennett talk about how writing has become part of their practice. The artist statement for Second Peoples (a show in Tacoma with Bennett, Offenbacher, Heide Hinrichs, and Jenny Heishman) is as much an intentional work of art as the objects in the gallery. (My review here.) Emily Pothast (blogger Translinguistic Other) said that her blogging, her art, and her music are all interconnecting sources of inspiration. (Have you heard her music?) Fredericksen mentioned that Aaron Flint Jamison, a recent Brink Award nominee, makes some objects but mostly spends his time publishing the zine Veneer. Offenbacher's La Especial Norte, which he calls a "newsletter," is full of artists writing about other artists—it's an energizing shot in the arm when it comes out, but it also ages well. The shows come down, the writing stays up. (For that reason, I agree with those who want to see it archived in PDF form.)
I made only one request of the self-identifying art crowd: That they join in the conversation here. Let's take this post as a test case. What's the one thing you wish you could have said at klatch, or the one thing you would have said if you hadn't gotten involved with your snooze button?