“Documenting the Digital Critics: Analysing and Archiving Criticism After the Internet” presented by Frost


Session Title:

  • Archiving Media Art: Rapid Response Art History - Tools and Techniques for a Fast-Changing Art World

Presentation Title:

  • Documenting the Digital Critics: Analysing and Archiving Criticism After the Internet




  • From listserv collectives, irreverent podcasters, opinionated bloggers and satirical video performers to sensationalist ‘grammers and prolific Facebookers, online art critics have successfully challenged their Greenbergian forebears. Although there have been a number of recent articles (Gat, 2013; Jansen, 2015; Williams, 2015) and events (Walker Arts Center and MNArts 2015; Rhizome 2016) exploring the nature of art criticism after the internet, which follow much more extensive publication (Elkins, 2003; Rubinstein, 2006; Plagens, 2007; Elkins and Newman, 2008) and discussion (ICA, 2011; Witte de With, 2012; AIAC, 2013) on the Western crisis of art criticism, there have been no comprehensive studies of art criticism after the internet. Based on my forthcoming book, Art Criticism Online: A History, this paper will reveal some of my research into the broader history of online art criticism.

    Highly ephemeral and transient in form, all art criticism is difficult to research and archives are rare. Online art criticism is particularly problematic given many early platforms are no longer live, content is frequently removed or reorganised, and even contemporary platforms seldom offer accessible archives. The paper will therefore consider some of online art criticism’s common forms and key characteristics. It will connect it to much earlier types of – often multimodal – art criticism. Finally it consider methods of archivisation for online art criticism and approaches to teaching art critical digital literacies.