Social Networks (2011)

Curated by tylercrain
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This exhibition has pieces that all involve social networks in some way. Social networks are involved in almost all aspects of our lives now. It was only a matter of time before artists started to mix their work with social networking sites. We have all seen the power social networks have, all the people it can reach, and how fast it can do that. With such power, it's hard to find a reason why artists wouldn't welcome these with open arms. The first few have found some reasons why they might not. These pieces, dis.like, Attention Hog, and I would have liked to be one of you, seem to be objecting social networks in some way. Dis.like is insulting (or perhaps just providing an alternative) the "like" button on Facebook. You don't have to like everything, and this piece is a tool to help you show how much you dislike something. Attention Hog works on two levels. On one it is set up like a "casual game" you'd find on a social networking site like Facebook. The message behind the game, however, is much more serious than the idea of a pig running around and everyone loving it. This piece is showing the negatives of social networking, the constant search for peer validation. As Danah Boyd said in her article, people create new persona's in order to please others. This idea is also explored in "I would have liked to be one of you". This project encouraged you to just steal your friend's statues and name's. Instead of being yourself (or the identity you choose to create for yourself) just be one of your friends! The next two are appropriating social networks for artistic purposes. As long as there is a medium, there will be art created on that medium. These pieces are great examples of this. These are combing the elements of computer technology and art in the way that Janet H. Murray described in "Inventing the Medium". She talked about the relationship between technology and art, and these pieces are great examples of how artists have used social networks to get their work to people, in the case of New Media Haiku, and to create work with the help of those in the social networks, in the case of happyrain. The last piece, silence is golden, is also my favorite one. Twitter is a site completely based on constantly being involved with the world, letting people know what you're doing, and hearing the latest information. Silence is golden sent constant twitter updates with no text, just blank updates. Silence. This makes us think about how social networks have changed us. It has created a world of constant updates, and as a result, a constantly loud world. Now we can take a moment to just sit in silence, and let all the updates just pass us by for just a moment. But the fact still remains, as long as social networks are a prominent part of our culture, artists will find a way to use them for their needs. Whether it be to make a statement about the networks themselves, or just to spread their work, they will be used.

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