Who starts an art blog covering one of the hottest, most innovative and influential art scenes in the world and calls it “Art Sucks”? This guy (aka Cojo Art Juggernaut) and he’s become quite the staple in the NYC art scene (and not just because of his clever and provocative domain names). Art Sucks has now been around for 10 years and Cojo will be throwing down to celebrate this anniversary and the re-launch of the blog at Studio 21 in Chelsea this Thursday, January 10th 2013. An art party not to be missed, there will be art and musical performances, including an experimental live body painting and projection installation by artist Andy Golub and live performances by “NYC Jazz Goddess” Nicole Zuraitis and “solo acoustic guitar maestro” James Sera, among other live acts. We met with Cojo on the interwebs (where else?) to learn more about Art Sucks, his comic strips for Maxim (the glamorous shit), and what we can expect at the party this Thursday!
NYC-APS: I’m sure you’ve gotten this a lot, but I have to ask: Why “Art Sucks”?
Cojo: I do, and like Joker giving multiple backstories to how he got his facial scars, I have many answers depending on the situation. The key reason is that it’s a short domain that is easy to remember, it’s spelled correctly, and strikes either a positive or negative cord to people who work in the art world, or are fans of art.
Back in 1999 I had just gotten my BFA from NYC’s School of Visual Arts and was working as an in-house illustrator for a flash internet start-up. I had that pre-bubble-bust dot com money and thought it would be cool to buy a domain before all the good domain names were gone. I noticed that art words followed by the word sucks were available. I bought a whole family of “sucks” domains, including, commercialartsucks.com, fineartsucks.com, graphicdesignsucks.com, stockartsucks.com, about a dozen of them. At the time it cost about a hundred bucks a year to hold onto a domain name. Considering “Art” summed up everything under one umbrella, and as it was the shortest and most concise I kept it and let the others go back into the internet pool to drown. A few years later when I had learned some html the blog was born.
NYC-APS: So you’re a serial domain buyer? I had a friend that would do that, partly just for fun, but partly in case he wanted to take a sporadic idea further at a later point in time…
Cojo: Yes, whenever I have an idea for an art project I usually buy the dot com for it. Gives people a nice direct path. Maybe it’s like when you write something down it feels more permanent. When I buy a domain for an idea I want to do, it feels more like I have to actually do it, because I have invested money in it.
NYC-APS: It’s the 10 year anniversary of your blog Art Sucks. How do you think art blogging has changed in the past 10 years?
Cojo: Blogging has changed a ton. When I started out, the internet was on slow dial-up modems. I used very few images, and usually turned them into black & white and made them .gif files. If I wanted to include photos I took with my old pentax film camera, I had to “send the film away” to be developed. Or pay more to hit-up a one hour photo place. Then I would scan the printed photos, convert them to b&w in the lowest resolution. I would sometimes put the photos on a separate page so you could read the blog post first, then click to see the images, because pages with images took a long time to load. As technology progressed film processing places could take film and instead of printing on kodak paper they could make a CD for you, this cut costs a bit, and took away the step of scanning the photos. Eventually digital photography got good enough and cheap enough to move out of the film world. I’m on my 3rd digital camera upgrade, so the quality just keeps getting better as time goes by.
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