I was sorry to hear that, after 6-and-a-half years,  Big RED & Shiny has decided to close up shop. It’s 135th issue will be its last. It’s not ending operations due to money but because its just arrived at that time.

BR&S’s self-defined scope was the New England Arts scene, but in reality its reach and applied knowledge was national.

In my past writing I have leant on some of the great photography articles at BR&S – Larry Sultan, William Christenberry, Harold Feinstein and Stephen Tourlentes.

BR&S has had over 170 contributors down the years and the sites development stands out as a true community; the writing has been considered and committed – Matthew Gamber was editor-in-chief for 126 issues; writers turned editors, Micah Malone and Christian Holland, started with the first issue; James Nadeau first wrote an article in issue #19 and remained as editor.

Matthew Nash, publisher of BR&S said this:

If Big RED & Shiny were a human, our six-and-a-half years would put them in the first grade. Yet, online we are old. Very old. We have been online a full third of the life of the Internet. There was no Facebook when we started. No Blogger. No MySpace. The iPhone was over 3 years in the future.

If Nash is suggesting that BR&S has less of a place in the rapidly changing internet (which I’d currently characterise as an idea-economy, link-economy, micro-blogging, shuffling-content internet) then he is surely wrong. He observes that perhaps people have less need for editorial framing and more an appetite for primary content. Nash could be right, but I don’t know if that means editorial writing is pushed out. I hope that there’s room for both – I mean, a tweet (which is essential a quick-fire bulletin board) does not compete with a full length article (which is substantive content, ideas).

Whatever. The debate on the web is a distraction really from an announcement that means our arts coverage online just got a little thinner. Thankfully, the archive lives!

BR&S – Sad to see you go. Good luck with future endeavours!