Duncan Alexander
Works in Minneapolis United States of America

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DISCUSSION

Required Reading


Last post! When I say any artwork that exists in the presence of the masses - so accessibility first! - can be labeled as "social media art,," I mean online works, but I hope that was implied. Just wanted to make sure that was clear.

DISCUSSION

Required Reading


Now that I've stated my case, let's return to the problem at hand: Social Media Art. Based on my previous arguments, it should be obvious that I am against any sort of timeline construction or "start dates" for social media - even more so for social media art. Anyone with any art history knowledge should know the Alfred Barr Chart of Everything (look it up on Google Images!) . Belief in this sort of comfortable linearity in human thought is what has kept people digging up the rotting corpse of Postmodernism and parading it around for the past 10 years. Timelines in art encourage bad art historical jokes that are unintelligible to people without BFAs, notions of purity and essentialism, and worst of all, retconning. Art - especially social media art - must take into account the identity of the audience. That said, the internet has allowed for a lot of different audiences to develop and amplify and isolate, and so we get major divisions IRL in perceived timelines! (Ask anyone off the street to name a living contemporary artist, it's fun.) So what I'm trying so say is, it's more important when a work entered a particular social sphere than when it was made, and it's more important online that we look at who we're talking to with our art, and who can talk/is talking back. Any work that exists specifically online can be commented on and riffed on and mutilated and sent to printers in Taiwan to make rugs out of. I'd say that any artwork that exists in the presence of the masses - so accessibility first! - can be labeled as "social media art," and because of the transience of social media, that definition is useless.

I hope you made it through that! Good night!

Duncan

DISCUSSION

Required Reading


(a note: Rhizome is blocking my attempts to use urls in posts. These were more annotated.)

DISCUSSION

Required Reading


As we've discovered in the most recent comments, websites have degrees of interactivity. I run a blog and also a website. The blog allows for anyone to comment - even anonymous individuals. The website is static html - it's just a place for me to put some of my pretty stuff and hope people read my CV. Which one is more social? You'd probably choose the blog. OK, now let's say we throw my Facebook profile, my Youtube page, and some Livejournal I started when I was 13 into the mix. What's more social? Well, again you'd probably choose Facebook or Youtube. But let's consider: what if Kanye started marketing his "paintings" just on his blog instead of Youtube? That might be considered even more of a social media technique, even though he would be harnessing word-of-mouth (old school!) over Facebook ads. The problem is that the internet is dynamic, and people are constantly intrigued by new ways to communicate, and so when something is online and has any interactive component, it's impossible to say what is or isn't social media.

DISCUSSION

Required Reading


As we've discovered in the most recent comments, websites have degrees of interactivity. I run a blog (shameless plug 1) and also a website (shameless plug 2). The blog allows for anyone to comment - even anonymous individuals. The website is static html - it's just a place for me to put some of my pretty stuff and hope people read my CV. Which one is "more social?" You'd probably choose the blog. OK, now let's say we throw my Facebook profile, my Youtube page, and some Livejournal I started when I was 13 into the mix. What's more social? Well, again you'd probably choose Facebook or Youtube. But let's consider: what if Kanye started marketing his "paintings" on his blog instead of Youtube? That might be considered even more of a social media marketing technique, even though he would be harnessing word-of-mouth (old school!)over Facebook ads. The problem is that the internet is dynamic, and people are constantly intrigued by new ways to communicate, and so when something is online and has any interactive component, it's impossible to say what is or isn't social media.

Now that I've stated my case, let's return to the problem at hand: Social Media Art. Based on my previous arguments, it should be obvious that I am against any sort of timeline construction or "start dates" for social media - even more so for social media art. Anyone with any art history knowledge should know the Alfred Barr Chart of Everything . Belief in this sort of comfortable linearity in human thought is what has kept people digging up the rotting corpse of Postmodernism and parading it around for the past 10 years. Timelines in art encourage bad art historical jokes that are unintelligible to people without BFAs, notions of purity and essentialism, and worst of all, retconning.

Part 3...