Happy birthday, Daily Serving! This month marks our tenth year of bringing you some of the smartest art writing around. To celebrate this momentous anniversary, we’re looking at our past, our present, and our future. Today we bring you an excerpt from an interview with Daily Serving’s current executive director, Michele Carlson. Michele joined the team in May 2016, and brings her work as an artist, critic, board member, and professor of visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts to her new role at DS.
The difference between DS and some of the other publications you have worked with:
I love working for a team and org with heart and guts—those who aren’t afraid, don’t just hop on trends to follow the money, and are willing to take on the long hard road that is “making the world better.” This describes Daily Serving. The organization is run by a group of administrators who also happen to be artists and writers, thus the stakes are significant for us here at DS. It’s not just about putting out stellar content or hitting analytics and budgets, but the work we do at DS is also the work we do outside of it. It is the work we will do after. It means that our approach to facilitating art, artists, and arts writing is driven by something greater than the needs of the organization itself or “the field.” We have the rare opportunity to intervene into the system, even if a small one, and quite literally produce the changes we want to see. You don’t often get this chance.
In Daily Serving‘s future:
We’ve spent a lot of time considering the internal operations of DS and we’re excited to be turning our attention to the future and external-facing projects. That DS has been holding space for art and writing for ten years is an unbelievable accomplishment and we don’t plan on going anywhere! So much has changed in the arts but also in digital and internet culture since 2006. We want DS to continue to grow and change with the dynamic worlds it draws from, and think more expansively in how it operates as a platform for arts discourse. As an online media source, how do we create reciprocity with our audiences and how do we stay a resource without drowning in trends or clichéd ideas about innovation? How do we reconcile that while our work manifests online, our readers and the art we love are IRL and have IRL concerns? How do we do the best work we can with little resources and capacity? How do we be brave? These are the sorts of questions we are asking ourselves as we move into the future, while continuing to confront larger systemic inequities around who has access to creating the narratives of art and culture and disrupting which art, artists, writers, editors, and leaders are valued in the art world.