Reviewed April 2014
Prof. Amy Ballmer, Asst. Head of Research and Instructional Services
Gladys Marcus Library, Fashion Institute of Technology
The Museum of Modern Art’s web project post is self-described as “An online journal, archive, exhibition space, and open forum that takes advantage of the nonhierarchical nature of the internet.”
It is the public face of a cross departmental research group at MoMA called C-MAP (Contemporary and Modern Art Perspectives) that was created in 2009 to help shift the study of modern and contemporary art history from one centered on Western Europe and America and instead to “understand more fully the historical imperatives and changing conditions of transnational networks of artistic practice and to seek verbal and material accounts of histories that often have been little known outside their countries of origin.” As may be noted by this reviewer’s use of the website’s own language to describe the site, post does a good job of clearly stating its origins, intent, and focus.
post content consists of essays, artworks, primary source materials, resource recommendations, and interviews, with each entry providing the opportunity for (registered) user input. The design is minimal and sophisticated and navigation is clear. The site can be explored in a nonlinear manner and the various routes are clear. Content is organized by type (Features, Essays, Interviews, etc.) as well as by theme (for those less inclined to a nonlinear approach to art historical study). At the end of each section the option to print, share, follow, and discuss is provided as is a permalink to the page. The discussion sections are the space where the user is invited to participate in the site and add additional materials or comments. To participate in a discussion, the user must create an account.
Texts are divided into sections at screen length or shorter and each section is interspersed with images or section headings, which is ideal for web-based reading. The tones of the pieces are informative and personable as though the act of publishing on a website leads writers to use more casual prose. The site is free and requires no additional software to use. It does not have a mobile version but is viewable on a mobile device. post can be enjoyed by any upper level high school student or adult interested in global contemporary art. Knowledge of post-1960 art practice is helpful but not necessary.