Introducing Delicious Quarantine

by Franklin Einspruch

2020-03-19T1332

A lot of people out there think that Delicious Line is a WordPress site. It is not. I wrote it in Python and XSLT over a backend of PostGIS. I could tell you things about Spatial Reference System Identifiers that would make you cry tears of boredom.

That said, I miss the old days when we were banging together static web pages with hopes of changing the whole art criticism landscape, around the turn of the century. Sites built this way eventually turned into maintenance nightmares - hence the increasing popularity of WordPress, in spite of its tendency to generate nightmares still worse. Developing WordPress, even today, is like to trying to organize Cthulhu's sock drawer. Instead, I learned to code, and make my own content management systems.

It was really hard. And in the end, we didn't change the landscape, the landscape changed us. The Golden Age of Blogging from 2003 to 2008 gave way to the Rise of Social Media, and art criticism never recovered. I blame this on an art world overrun with people who were quirky creative types compared to the greater run of society, but were deeply conformist with respect to each other. Social media amplified this phenomenon exponentially. Just yesterday a friend of mine confessed to me that she's stunned by the amount and severity of interpersonal policing that goes on in the local creative scene.

Delicious Line is in certain respects a reaction to that, an opportunity for an individualistic art criticism. It has, I admit, a lot of rules. They are intended to keep misery at bay, and aimed not at all at the character of the content. Mostly they work. The support of this project has been extraordinary and I owe it in large measure to the rules, because they give the publication its particular shape.

But here we are, facing down an unknown number of obliged sick days ahead of us, and the rules are going to get hard to follow. Hence Delicious Quarantine, in which we bring it back to what made the World Wide Web so exciting in the first place - the ease with which one could get one's thoughts out, with nothing required but a text editor, a little HTML, and a half dozen bash commands. It will continue as long as it needs to.

Let's throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

[About the author: Franklin Einspruch is an artist in Boston.]