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Site Specifics: Artforum

By Paul Fileri

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The eighth art finds a pristine online home

Since its inception last year, the film blog at Artforum.com has offered consistently perceptive and well-composed criticism, expanding upon the print publication’s already strong coverage. Writing on the moving image in this context has of course been a mainstay in Artforum ever since the late Sixties when Annette Michelson and Manny Farber penned seminal essays for the magazine’s distinctive square large-format pages.

Current online editor David Velasco tells FC that “the magazine’s and the website’s film coverage are relatively independent beasts.” The site gives space to a wider range of subjects and more reflections from a welcome roster of critical voices including James Quandt, Amy Taubin, Malcolm Turvey, Arthur Danto, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Ed Halter, Andrew Hultkrans, and Brian Sholis. In its effort to build a more robust Web presence, Artforum’s pristinely designed outpost places the cinema beat alongside a news digest, an ample collection of video and film works gathered from other online venues, and the Scene & Herd diary, which catches the eye with photos from a plethora of exhibition openings and parties.

Like many matters Artforum related, New York is the persistent locus of attention, but thankfully the film blog also casts its nets further afield. Velasco aims to keep “multiple venues and topics in the mix” while also having the column’s direction be “largely steered by the interests of our stable of regular critics.” Reports have been filed on the recent London symposium at the Tate Modern on expanded cinema, the Images Festival in Toronto, and screenings of work by Zoë Beloff and Deborah Stratman at the REDCAT experimental film theater in Los Angeles. At its best, Artforum.com carries film coverage that reports and reflects the way the world of cinema and the contemporary art scene increasingly commingle and cross-fertilize.

Go to www.artforum.com

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