Welcome to our super-meta-review!
I, personally, am into emailed newsletters – they work as a ‘tickler’ system that reminds me to stay informed and engaged in the community of artists and art technology. In this article, I'm going to introduce you to three newsletters that help me stay in touch with the details that are relevant to me:
Many media art websites can provide you with recap email on the current state-of-their-site. But none is as consistent as Hyperallergic in waking me up to new artists, trends and shows.
When you go to their site, you will be given the option of signing up to their newsletter – and I strongly suggest that you take advantage of it. While the site is a great source of content, it is the near-daily trickle of information and insight that you get from the newsletter that will help you always stay connected to your artistic side. I depend on this newsletter to help keep me grounded, and to remind me that there is more to life than the daily grind!
2. Vital Weekly
On the other end of the ‘production standards’ spectrum is Vital Weekly, a newsletter that eschews fancy graphics (or any graphics at all…) for the opportunity to review – and sample – recently released music.
I always look forward to the Vital Weekly coming in; oftentimes, I won’t recognize a single name on the artist list. What a gift! Each release is paired with a long-ish paragraph/review about the release, sometimes casting back to previous bands, releases or collaborations by the artist. The work ranges from noise bands to expansive ambient music, industrial to minimal techno, but the through-line seems to be people that are trying to be inventive and are bringing their vision to musical releases.
Each edition of the newsletter has a companion podcast that features music from the newsletter. You get a chance to hear a little bit of the work, and combined with the review, you can get a good indication about your likelihood of enjoying that artist’s work. I have found several new artists that I now follow thanks to Vital Weekly, and I consider each newsletter a gem.
3. The IRCAM Newsletter
No institution more directly influences the Max community than IRCAM, and its monthly newsletter fits in a nice place between the previous two I’ve mentioned. Like Hyperallergic, it gives me pointers to artists and technologies that are important, but like Vital Weekly, also introduces me to a lot of new and interesting artists and concepts to explore.
I will say that each issue presents a conundrum: how do I get to Paris for the next workshop/performance/exhibit? In addition to learning about upcoming IRCAM presentations, it provides me with a laundry list of subjects to explore and people to learn about. I always end up inspired when reading the newsletter, and often end up with new patching or sound design ideas to explore.
I hope that this isn’t all old news for you; each of these newsletters make up an important part of my daily, weekly and monthly artistic life, and I think you might find them helpful as well. Enjoy!