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Aesthetic Journalism
How to Inform Without Informing
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ISBN 9781841502687
Paperback 112 pages
Published September 2009
Imprint: Intellect
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Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

Addressing a growing area of focus in contemporary art, Aesthetic Journalism investigates why contemporary art exhibitions often consist of interviews, documentaries, and reportage. Art theorist and critic Alfredo Cramerotti traces the shift in the production of truth from the domain of the news media to that of art and aestheticism – a change that questions the very foundations of journalism and the nature of art. This volume challenges the way we understand art and journalism in contemporary culture and suggests future developments of this new relationship.

Aesthetic Journalism: A talk by Alfredo Cramerotti from OPEN-i (Open Photojournalism Edu on Vimeo.

Chapter titles
by Sally O’Reilly
INTRODUCTION: Art and Journalism: A Perspective Shift of Meaning
by Andrei Siclodi
Chapter 1: ONE THING Among Many
Chapter 2: WHAT is Aesthetic Journalism?
Why aesthetic? Why journalism? The crisis of traditional journalism. Art’s chance
Chapter 3: WHERE is Aesthetic Journalism?
Art’s context . Documentary . Internet . Advertising
Chapter 4: WHEN did Aesthetic Journalism Develop?
A few scenarios of the past… . …and some closer to the present . Art as self-documentation . Art as social criticism . Art as reporting .
Chapter 5: HOW shall we Read Aesthetic Journalism?
Reading reality . Constructing reality . Subjectivity at play
Chapter 6: WHO produces Aesthetic Journalism Today? From Which Position?
Artists and projects
Chapter 7: WHY is Aesthetic Journalism Relevant, Now and in Perspective?
Different strategies . Witnessing: making time . Interactivity: removing the visible, adding the meaningful . Hijacking: on art and journalism . Disclosing: playing with mechanisms . Horizon(ing)
Chapter 8: REFERENCES and Niceties
by Irit Rogoff
' “An inspiring and well written overview of reportage and information practices in art... groundbreaking!”' – Hito Steyerl, Visiting Professor for Experimental Media Creation at the University of Arts, Berlin

'"I have read your book 'aesthetic journalism' with great interest. [...] I understand that your analysis of the applied methods in both journalism and in contemporary art is extremely precise and based on extensive research which makes it a very rich lecture. To me your book unfolds an enormous panorama which I appreciate a lot to find it in such compact."' – Peter Sandbichler, artist and consultant, Vienna, Austria

'"I think you've touched on a rich vein which will not only be of huge interest to the arts worlds but more significantly in the evolving debate of journalism and doc - the world I know very well having previously worked for Channel 4 News, ABC News and Newsnight - to name a few."' – David Dunkley Gyimah, Senior Lecturer Digital Journalism, University of Westminster London, UK

'"Well-organized and thoroughly researched, Aesthetic Journalism is a good book for anyone who has ever wondered about the proliferation in contemporary art exhibitions of works resembling news reports, documentary cinema, or informative publications.  Alfredo Cramerotti takes on this group of seemingly unrelated works, focusing on a number of themes pertinent to contemporary culture and society. This book investigates the bleeding over into one another of the fields of art and journalism, who share superficial similarities but differ radically on such notions as "reality," "fact," and "objectivity" as well as on professional aims and ethical standards. Definitely worth a read for anyone interested in recent contemporary art practices and discourse."' – Geoffrey Garrison, artist and editor, Berlin, Germany

'"I just took contact with your book 'Aesthetic Journalism' (bought in Berlin), which I found really interesting and symptomatic of many issues that I also share (regarding the contemporary regimes of visibility/invisibility and the possibilities to act and [re]exist in public spheres related to those regimes...). I [...] express my admiration and recognition to this interesting work you produced."' – Jose Roberto Shwafaty, artist, Campinas/Sp, Brasil and Berlin, Germany

'"I appreciate very much the clarity with which [Aesthetic Journalism] is written, and I think that the journalistic devices that you appropriately employ in the main body of the book are great! Above all, the book provides a relatively concise, empirical commentary about a phenomenon that until now lacked such a referent."' – David Briers, critic, writer and curator based in West Yorkshire, UK

'I am enjoying your [Aesthetic Journalism] writing: fiction as a subversive but effective agent of reality, journalism as a body guarantor of public assets, a reporter as being in one place and witnessing something changing into being in many places at the same time and commenting on what happens elsewhere. ' – Alissa Firth-Eagland, curator and writer, Grenoble, France and Vancouver, Canada

'I have just finished reading Aesthetic Journalism... I thoroughly enjoyed it. Very interesting.' – Mark Neville, artist, Glasgow, UK

'Interesting and refreshing (congratulations for it).' – Irene Montero Sabín / BRUMARIA, Madrid, Spain and London, UK

'I was reading your book. Congratulations, very interesting, and very useful for me as teacher of new media... next academic year my students will learn about your concept.' – Pablo España / DEMOCRACIA, artist, curator and editor, Madrid, Spain

'I find it illuminating! Thank you so much for this!' – Julia Draganovic, curator and writer, New York, U.S. and Modena, Italy

'In the pursuit of explaining the interaction between artistic and journalistic practices this book succeeds with honors. It is thoroughly researched and it is transparent and generous in sharing its (re)sources. A decisive contribution is the analysis of paradigmatic works of aesthetic journalism, a term notably well articulated, like for example those of Renzo Martens and Alfredo Jaar' – Alanna Lockwood,

'Drawing together references and critical models from philosophy, sociology, media theory, as well as art history, Cramerotti's arguments for Aesthetic Journalism are persuasive from a number of disciplinary perspectives. It is not a book that claims academic territory in the strictest sense, and it stays clear of questions of definition that could have easily waylaid its urgency. Rather, Aesthetic Journalism is more about recognizing, developing, and inciting a set of relationships that could radically alter the conduct of information in the public sphere. ' – Matt Packer, curator of exhibitions and projects at the Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork and Photography & Culture Journal reviewer, UK

'I recently completed my Masters in Contemporary Art at the Sotheby's Institute of Art in London and have used your book as a large source of inspiration for my dissertation. I admire the acknowledgement of the problematic aspects of representations of crises at present, articulated by thinkers such as yourself. ' – Lauren Mele, Masters candidate, Contemporary Art Sotheby's Institute of Art, London, UK

'I worked for many years as a photojournalist, working in film and in print all over the world. I left it to do an MFA in Art at Hunter College in New York where I spend a lot of time thinking about the relationship between documentary, journalism and art. I'm almost finished reading Aesthetic Journalism. It's so clearly thought out and written. It has really helped me pull together things that I couldn't quite get to in my head. I've met Alfredo Jaar and your analysis of his work is DEAD on. Many thanks for that!' – Meredith Davenport, Assistant Professor School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA

'I finally did pick up your book, which I love! It articulates well exactly the sort of issues I often find myself ruminating on.a daily basis since I traverse the various types of writing, from art to travel to essay and what is now called "creative nonfiction" but is actually just the nature of writing on just about anything--sometimes all muddled into one these days with the birth of the blog. The writing in your book, from the very first page, the introduction, is admirably succinct and to the point.' – Cathryn Drake, writer and ARTFORUM Magazine art critic, USA and Italy

'Thank you for the 'Aesthetic Journalism’ publication ... it's fascinating! This question of where art ends and documentary begins has bothered me for so long – I know art when I see it and I know journalism when I see it but don't have the grey lines. ... And it's so great that you are articulating everything.' – Michaela Crimmin, Curating Contemporary Art and Leader Culture+Conflict at Royal College of Art London, UK

'I just finished - and tremendously enjoyed - your book Aesthetic Journalism.' – Steffen Moestrup, PhD fellow, University of Copenhagen

'I am a writer with Nieman Reports, a publication about current trends in journalism, and I am working on an article about the intersection of art and journalism -- both journalists who use art in their reporting, and artists who use journalistic techniques in their art. I read your book Aesthetic Journalism, which was incredibly helpful to me in framing the article. ' – Michael Blanding, Writer, Nieman Reports

'I purchased your book Aesthetic Journalism from MoMA PS1 at the weekend and I feel it is a salient and relevant point of reference [ ] about the visual aspects of journalism that you explore in such depth. ' – Jess Holburn, Curator, The Atavist

'I read your wonderful 'Aesthetic Journalism'. Your reflections served me to theorize part of my research.' – Pablo Arboleda, Bauhaus University Weimar

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