How is the Internet changing cultural criticism—or the ways we perceive and make art? How can arts journalism survive and thrive in a networked age? In an age of DIY media, when everyone's a critic, curator, and creator, what does it mean to be a professional art critic? As lead organizer of this three-day international conference, I worked to address these and other questions about digital cultural publishing's current challenges and its possible futures.
Held May 28–30, 2015 at the Walker Art Center, Superscript showcased 17 writers, editors, and artists (from poet Claudia La Rocco and Los Angeles Times critic Christopher Knight to Pitchfork CEO Ryan Schreiber and The New Inquiry’s Ayesha Siddiqi), two keynotes (James Bridle, Ben Davis), two film premieres, a mentorship program (with Hyperallergic) for emerging bloggers, and a closing party DJ’d by YACHT’s Claire Evans, among other events. In addition to managing speaker selection and relations, event logistics and marketing, contracts and invoicing, and promoting Superscript on media outlets (from KFAI Community Radio to the Columbia Journalism Review), I created a parallel online program of commissioned writings from artists, editors, and technologists on themes not addressed within the conference. After trending nationally on Twitter during the event—thanks, in part, to our quirky motivational poster–style quotation cards—the #superscript15 hashtag remains active thanks in part to this ongoing series of writings.
Press for Superscript
"What is the role of the digital-age arts critic? Superscript conference hopes for answers," Columbia Journalism Review, Chris Ip, May 19, 2105.
"Everyone's a Critic: Walker's Superscript Conference Ponders the Future of Arts Journalism," City Pages, May 27, 2015.
"Superscript: Two Days in an Auditorium with Art Critics," Art F City, Paddy Johnson, June 4, 2015.
"Same As It Ever Was: A Conference on Art Criticism in the Digital Age," Art In America, William S. Smith, June 5, 2015.
"6 Thoughts on Art and Criticism in a Digital Age," MN Original (Twin Cities Public Television, June 11, 2015.
"Has the Internet Changed Art Criticism? On Service Criticism and A Possible Future," Rhizome, Orit Gat, June 15, 2015.
"Arts Journalism in a Digital Age," New Art Examiner, Tom Mullaney, August/September 2015.