E-Flux Launches E-Flux Conversations Site, Seeking Debate Away From Social Media



For the past few months, e-flux, the multitasking and curatorial publishing platform, has been experimenting with a new website called e-flux conversations, which publishes short posts from around the art world that are open to public comment—a hybrid blog and message board. Today at noon it officially goes live with a new design by Alan Woo and writer Karen Archey at the helm.

The aim of the site, Archey (who sometimes contributes to ARTnews), said in a phone interview, “is to provide an alternative for conversations art that aren’t beholden to companies like Facebook, and to really allow a focused place for conversations about art that isn’t melded into a social network.”

So far, those conversations have covered topics like “New Historical Materials,” “On Claims of Radicality in Contemporary Art,” and “Is ‘the Anthropocene’ a genuinely useful concept for illuminating contemporary culture and our environmental predicament?,” which has generated some robust debate.

“The people on the site range from Maria Lind and Charles Esche to art students and their friends,” Archey said. “There’s a nice, really hybrid community that we would like to connect.”

To that end, Archey, who joined the site in November, is bringing on contributors each month (David Hodge and Hamed Yousefi for March) to generate conversations that invited writers (Rachel Wetzler and Mostafa Heddaya right now) can respond to, while also starting their own threads.

“It’s a very experimental platform, and it really came out of us being avid social media users and wanting to talk about art,” Archey said. “There also no archiving tools for conversations about art on Facebook, which actually sometimes are extremely important.” She cited last year’s debate over Donelle Woolford as one prime example. “There’s no way we can get that back now,” she said.

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