“All blogs must pass away.”
Okay, apologies to the spirit of George Harrison for that one, but it sums up the purpose of today’s post — to lay “Looking Around” to rest.
I started this blog in early 2007 as a way to get beyond the weekly newsmagazine format I usually work in and to comment on the daily scrum of news about art and architecture. For almost three years now it’s been a challenge, a steep learning curve and frequently a lot of fun.
But it has also required the kind of workload I associate with old movies where Egyptian slaves drag large blocks on sledges to the top of some pyramid. The first thing I do every morning — even before I turn to the other things that I do as a critic for this magazine and its burgeoning website — is decide what things are worth talking about that day in the fields I cover and what it’s worthwhile to say about them. (You be the judge on how well I did in that department.) Then I write the post, track down the relevant images and check the thing over and over again — not always to perfection. Note to self — pavilion has one “l”; O’Keeffe has two “f’s.
Within a month after I started blogging it was clear to me that a daily blog is also quite a daily grind. I may be mistaken, but I think I’ve been the only critic at any major American newspaper or magazine who maintains a daily artsblog that’s also a one-person operation. (Though Blair Kamin, the tireless architecture critic of The Chicago Tribune, comes pretty close.) “Looking Around” was a blog that could feel sometimes like a sentry post.
So as a way to re-order my own priorities, double down on other writing and cut myself some slack, I’ve decided that at the end of this week I will join the distinguished ranks of former bloggers. (And let’s be clear — this a step I’m taking on my own initiative, not at the request of any of my editors, though obviously I got their agreement.) Going forward, I expect to go right on doing the things I do for the magazine and the homepage of Time.com, which is to say, writing about art and architecture, hopefully in useful ways. As mentioned, you be the judge.