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Superscript Reader

An editorial supplement to Superscript: Arts Journalism and Criticism in a Digital Age, an international conference held at the Walker Art Center May 28–30, 2015.

Conference Blog

Live response to Superscript, including reports from participants in the Superscript Blog Mentorship program, presented in partnership with Hyperallergic.

The Gradient

Superscript Successories

“Successories for the Pinterest generation”: Walker design director Emmet Byrne on Superscript’s visual quotes.  More

Via hyperallergic.com

The Anxiety of Being a Critic on the Internet

Starting her final piece as a Superscript blogger—in the airport en route back home to Halifax—Merray Gerges tackles a big question: What now? More

Media Lab

On Diversity and Localism at Superscript

We couldn’t be more grateful and pleased with how Superscript unfolded. But we know that the mix on stage last week left out some key voices.  More

Via hyperallergic.com

A Tale of Two Superscripts

Even for those in attendance, the feeling was that there were two parallel Superscripts—one on the web and one IRL, so to speak. More

Via hyperallergic.com

7 Suggestions for Superscript 2.0

Blog Mentorship participant Sam Wisneski calls for more diversity, improved utilization of Twitter, and better burritos in the next edition of Superscript. More

Media Lab

Meet the Woman who Transcribed all 113,361 Words of #Superscript15

Norma Miller on the practice of stenography and how its increasing employment by institutions might indicate that they’re becoming just a tad bit less ableist. More

Media Lab

Three Questions for Artist James Richards

A quick Q & A with Radio at Night (2015) filmmaker James Richards on music, the “digital age,” and his future projects.  More

Media Lab

Let Us Now Unpack “Connectivity and Community”

During day two, the conversation moved away from the previous day’s forms of criticism as such, and toward criticism in a digital age.  More

Media Lab

A Post-Descriptive ¯_(ツ)_/¯

A post-descriptive response to Ben Davis’s keynote on “Post-Descriptive Criticism.” More

Media Lab

A Quick Chat with Superscript Keynote Speaker James Bridle

“Invisibility seems like such a built-in principle of our politics and technologies today—they’re kind of designed to disappear from sight.” More

Via mnartists.org

Like Beyoncé Said, Fuck You, Pay Me

Superscript’s “Sustainability, Growth, and Ethics” panel left me questioning who unpaid writing benefits and who it silences. More

Media Lab

Who Gets to Be a Critic?

“Adding any words to this paper would make it less white than this fucking conference,” read an anonymously type-written note submitted at the Superscript opening party, Everyone’s a Critic.  More

Media Lab

Four Haiku on Sustainability, Growth, and Ethics

Because there is too much fucking information out there, let’s stop and learn from the Japanese wisdom of saying more with less. We don’t have to be all-encompassing; we can write haiku.  More

Media Lab

Moyra Davey’s Notes on Blue: A Post-Screening Meditation

Notes on Blue touches on, among many topics and lives, that of Derek Jarman, who released his film Blue (1993) only months before his death from AIDS-related complications.  More

Media Lab

Superscript in Context

The focus of Superscript isn’t entirely novel, but its efforts to engage audiences beyond the physical and temporal space of the conference are not only forward-thinking, but self-referential. More

Media Lab

Meet the Bloggers: Merray Gerges, Halifax

I’m thrilled for the opportunity to be more than a flâneur-scroller, to dive into the deep end of the pool to hybridize art history + journalism, to learn from you how you do it the way you do IRL.  More

Paul Schmelzer

Further Speculation on Digital Arts Media’s Future(s)

Brian Droitcour, Willa Köerner, Antwaun Sargent, and others weigh in on digital art publishing’s possible futures.  More

Media Lab

Meet the Bloggers: Ryohei Ozaki, New York

I want to come out of this weekend revived and inspired by the possibilities that are open to us to produce, distribute, and appreciate cultural wealth because of our digital worlds. More

Via mnartists.org

Speculations on Digital Art Media’s Future(s)

How we will be reading and writing on the arts ten years from now? A range of voices—from the Washington Post and ArtSlant to Chicago Artist Writers and MinnesotaPlaylist.com—weigh in.  More

Media Lab

Meet the Bloggers: Sam Wisneski, St. Paul

Introducing herself, St. Paul’s Sam Wisneski wonders what’s next for arts journalism in the Twin Cities. More


Superscript Required Reading

A shortlist of the thought-provoking pieces we bookmarked and shared as we made our preparations for Superscript 2015.  More

Via hyperallergic.com

Announcing the Superscript Blog Mentorship Participants

Meet Merray Gerges, Ryohei Ozaki, and Sam Wisneski, the bloggers selected to cover Superscript as part of the Hyperallergic/Superscript blog mentorship program.  More

Media Lab

Superscript Keynote: Ben Davis on “Post-Descriptive Criticism”

“Can you think about forms of criticism that are more image-based, without collapsing into a pure uncritical fascination with the image?” More

Media Lab

Superscript Blog Mentorship Program, presented in partnership with Hyperallergic

This responsive blogging program will create a pop-up newsroom in the Walker Library and engage a trio of enterprising bloggers in covering the conference. More

Media Lab

The Hypertext of Superscript

The aim of the Superscript site design, writes Anthony Tran, is to pay homage to text as the only necessity in publishing. Here he discusses his influences, from the hyperlink’s history to platforms like Tankboys and Pocket. More

Superscript Features

In an online complement to Superscript, this series of commissioned essays features thinking by some of the field’s most incisive voices on key topics not addressed within the conference. An ongoing collaboration between the Walker Art Center and Mn Artists, new essays will be published throughout June and July 2015.

Sarah Hromack

It’s Complicated: The Institution as Publisher

What does it mean for a museum to function as a publisher now, in 2015? Publishing is no less complicated an endeavor within an institutional context than it is in the external “real” world, where the presence of a consumer-grade Internet began altering the social production, consumption, and… More

Via mnartists.org

Burn the Maps

With the ever-shifting demographics and economic realities of rural America, the dividing lines between country and city spheres are increasingly fluid. Art of the Rural founder Matthew Fluharty makes a case for rejecting calcified notions of “rural art” and redrawing the geography of the cultural center and periphery accordingly. More

An Xiao Mina

An Activism of Affirmation

From #BlackLivesMatter to the #UmbrellaMovement, the Web helps artist-activists inform, inspire, and organize around key issues. But art can play a special role within social-change movements as well: It can help transform the Internet into a space for affirmation, self-worth, and emotional healing. More

Taylor Renee Aldridge and Jessica Lynne

Criticism’s Blackout

When a white, male critic wrote that African-American artist Alma Thomas’s paintings echo “the special middle-ground pleasures of domestic life,” Taylor Aldridge and Jessica Lynne wondered: How might this assessment look if written by a Black critic?  More

Dustin Luke Nelson

The Digital Has Made Performers of Us All

The best writing online does more than put beautifully turned phrases on a screen—it performs ideas in digital space. Dustin Luke Nelson ponders pixels and performativity for this new Superscript Reader commission.  More

Alexandra Lange

Instagram Archi-tourism

Archi-tourism is a web community waiting for its own digital address, writes Alexandra Lange. She longs for a dream site—“Archimaps, Designtrip, whatever”—to map her architectural explorations using smartphone photos. The trick: how to keep that contagious energy as you make snaps into an archive. More

Marvin Lin

Expiring Aesthetics

In a time of digital hyperacceleration and an ever-shifting technocultural landscape, we encounter an influx of trends, microgenres, and fads. But how do we talk about music when so much of what we listen to feels transitory and historically inconsequential? Marvin Lin explores our critical voice in the face of such expiring aesthetics. More

Kimberly Drew

Towards a New Digital Landscape

With dismal representation by women and people of color in tech and art fields, it’s time to imagine a new landscape of digital art, one that’s diverse and equitable, writes Black Contemporary Art founder Kimberly Drew. Here she highlights—in their own words—18 artists shaping this new terrain. More


Couldn’t make it to Superscript? Watch videos of all panels and keynotes, or read the official conference transcript, as a PDF or on the Media Lab blog.


Superscript 2015 Keynote: James Bridle

James Bridle is an artist, writer, and publisher based in London. His writing on literature, culture, and networks has appeared in magazines and newspapers including Wired, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic, and many others. More


Superscript 2015 Keynote: Post-Descriptive Criticism by Ben Davis

Ben Davis is author of the book 9.5 Theses on Art and Class (Haymarket, 2013). He is currently critic-in-residence at Montclair State University and National Art Critic for artnet NewsMore


Superscript 2015: Ryan Schreiber

Ryan Schreiber is founder and CEO of the online music publication Pitchfork, “the most prominent brand in online music journalism” (New York Times). More


Superscript 2015: Orit Gat

Orit Gat is a New York–based writer who looks at contemporary art, publishing, the Internet, and all the links between these subjects. She is currently the managing editor of WdW ReviewMore


Superscript 2015: Christopher Knight

Christopher Knight is art critic for the Los Angeles Times and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism (1991, 2001, and 2007). More


Superscript 2015: Isaac Fitzgerald

Isaac Fitzgerald is the cofounder of Pen & Ink, co-owner of The Rumpus, and editor of BuzzFeed BooksMore

Dialogue / Interview

Superscript 2015 Panel: Credibility, Criticism, Collusion

What does it mean to be a “professional” arts writer when it seems everyone’s a blogger, curator, critic, promoter, or publisher? Critics from four realms consider the tensions. More


Superscript 2015: Veken Gueyikian

Veken Gueyikian is the publisher and cofounder of Hyperallergic as well as the founder of Nectar Ads, the only online advertising network dedicated to visual art and design. More


Superscript 2015: Eugenia Bell

Eugenia Bell is executive editor of Design Observer, today’s leading international design blog. More


Superscript 2015: Carolina Miranda

Carolina Miranda is a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she writes the Culture High & Low blog. More


Superscript 2015: James McAnally

James McAnally is an artist, curator, and critic. He is the cofounder of Temporary Art Review and founder of The Luminary, an incubator for new ideas in the arts based in St. Louis. More

Dialogue / Interview

Superscript 2015 Panel: Sustainability, Growth & Ethics

Four speakers represent different models for online arts publishing: for-profit and ad-based, non-profit, “anti-profit,” and legacy media.  More


Superscript 2015: Claudia La Rocco

Claudia La Rocco is a poet and critic. She’s the author of The Best Most Useless Dress, contributor to Artforum and the New York Times, and founder of thePerformanceClub.org. More


Superscript 2015: Ayesha Siddiqi

Ayesha Siddiqi is a cultural critic and the editor-in-chief of the New Inquiry. Her commentary on race, gender, and pop culture has appeared in Vice, Al Jazeera, Dazed and Confused, and the New York Times, among others. More


Superscript 2015: Alexander Provan

Alexander Provan is the editor of Triple Canopy and contributing editor at Bidoun, a magazine of the arts and culture of the Middle East and its diaspora.  More


Superscript 2015: Brian Kuan Wood

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer who lives in New York. Together with Julieta Aranda and Anton Vidokle, he is editor of e-flux journalMore

Dialogue / Interview

Superscript 2015 Panel: Connectivity and Community

How does a platform create a sense of community? What’s the best web infrastructure for fostering responsive arts journalism? How can the online intersect with the in-person? More


Superscript 2015: Marisa Mazria-Katz

Marisa Mazria-Katz is editor of Creative Time Reports, an initiative aimed at restoring the voice of the artist in society by spotlighting their role as active participants in the issues of our time. More


Superscript 2015: Dan Fox

Dan Fox is coeditor at frieze magazine and is based in New York City.  More


Superscript 2015: Claire Evans

Claire Evans is the singer and coauthor of the conceptual pop group YACHT, as well as “futures editor” of Motherboard and editor of its sister science-fiction magazine, TerraformMore

Dialogue / Interview

Superscript 2015 Panel: Artists as Cultural First Responders

Centering on the interplay of platform and content, this panel highlights artists who use the Internet while embedding critical cultural response into their work. More