Last month Jörg Colberg wrote a post called "Being critical vs. being negative" on Conscientious where he talked about the lack of critical discourse being engaged in regarding photography within the blogging community. Noel Rodo-Vankeulen offered his own take on the situation at We Can't Paint, which you can read here.

Having been up since 6:00am dealing with a kid who has a stomach bug (she seems to be just fine now) I don't have the wherewithal to offer a truly nuanced take on the facets of the discussion, but I did want to touch on it here briefly because it's something I've struggled with since the launch of this blog. While I know that I'm capable of offering constructive criticism without resorting to negativity, I also find myself being wary. Certainly I agree with Jörg when he states that "a critical discussion is something you can disagree or agree with, something you can engage with." And years of art-school critiques--where you have to offer your point of view while looking the person right in the eye--train one to have a certain amount of diplomacy. But I have to agree with Noel that, as he says, "opinions expressed through the Internet (which are read and not heard...) can be taken in absurdly different directions, often appearing negative if not outright rude." The web is a truly small world as well, and it's true--I worry about my career, as I'm sure all of us who create art and also write about the process do. So while we certainly want to engage in a dialog, our personal blogs may have to suffer for it, for better or worse.

Unfortunately another major potential downside is that I am a passionate person, and I do have very strong opinions--both positive and negative. But because I've chosen to generally only write the positives, for the reasons stated above (and because I recognize that I also tend to wax hyperbolic when I praise the work I do connect with) I worry that I'll come off as a Pollyanna. All told it's a difficult line to toe.


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