In amongst all the maelstrom of social media : with its tweets… be they purposeful political strategy's or not. Within all the FB nudges, pokes, likes, inane games, mind numbing time consuming *interactions* much lauded by the nay sayers and robustly dismissed by the evangelical standard bearers of new media. Lies something vey close to my heart. Art.
And within this context of social media, like in every respected media. Artists make their art with their medium of choice and Critics critique it.FULL CIRCLE.
Art Fag City’s Paddy Johnson wrote an article in The L Magazine this past week on the relevance of Twitter art (a term she coined for convenience of the article). And in particular (as I see it) being very much on – her – patch, by citing local New York artists and raising questions about the relevance of the creative depth involved in their social media art.
Two artists in particular ; Man Bartlett and An Xiao (both having mentions on this blog before with their internet/twitter and in particular Man’s multi – on - line works). Were examples used in the line of questioning. I also imagine that being on her relative home turf, her interaction with the physical side of the art and the artists is much more apparent than my one dimensional take on it… on-line-only, miles away in blighty etc. But as I see it this is not about how we interact with the medium more the art involved….So from this perspective….
Paddy Johnsons critique quite rightly, I thought, pointed out that maybe, just maybe in the light of growing bandwagon-esq lauding, commissioning and mucho – typing about the subject… had an air of devils advocate about it >>
That in the light of such possible complacency….Paddy Johnson saw the subject as needing a boot up the jacksy ……and she probably had the crux of it down ; that too much Twitter - art IS focused on it being a new-ish medium and so, as a vehicle, anything done with it automatically = art. Rather than raising questions through art about mediums like this by creating art within it. Her idea that the art should be pushing more boundaries of thought.
Close to my heart indeed! Artists, Art and their choice of how they use the medium :
To give a slightly different alignment. I am addressing local Dj Jose Fedez (while I’m in Spain) in an up-coming post in lieu of the Electromar festival in Murcia later this month *headlined* by veteran Dj and all round share – it – with – the - people guy Moby.
The simplicity of the type of questions raised by the music industry such as created within mix music within Moby’s creative life time. Was very much about *new* mediums as vehicles and, was at the beginning, also seen as either an abstracted or removed experience of (original) music or a gravitational social experience.
One of Moby’s first majorly accepted pieces was made from an out and out lift from the Twin Peaks Theme Tune entitled Go. The advent of sampling and mixing had been around for a few years. But this blatant success by taking obviously readily suable material (from the film industry) AND making something that was more than aesthetically pleasing to quite a lot of people…subsequently made it a Classic in it own right. Advertising had already been *lifting* stuff for years by repackaging accepted music to endorse a product.
>> the bottom line being yes mixing is a medium, no, not everyone is going to create a Moby classic and yes people did eventually *get It* as a music – art – form. As opposed to renegade bad boys/girls *messing about* with new relatively un regulated media. It found its niches, it grew, changed, embraced. But it had a starting point.
I feel parallels here in the concept. And as far as Twitter art upping its communal ante Hell Yes !
But there is such a thing as subtly within art.
Paddy Johnson raised the question of not pushing the boundary's or that these artists were relying too heavily on the medium as content; social interactions and comments in that area ( to which she pointed out she already had a take on that, thank you, every time she IM'd a colleague from over her desk)… and did not need to participate in an art piece stating the same.
In spite of *chipping away slowly* or preaching to the converted by being one step removed from banality ie; stating the obvious, or an unchallenging foray into relational aesthetics. I believe there is a subtly in art that doesn't have to SHOUT the status quo down at every turn. That still moves or transcends though thought engagement.
So to the medium :
Twitter engagement is personal one to one while being group oriented.This is the nature of it.
From this perspective Twitter art can be more than the sum of its parts.
It is shared in real time or delayed time. It can occupy or interact with a group *audience* much as live media or replay can.
Nothing that couldn't be done in a gallery space or other medium on a smaller scale in its pure form.
And to the art and artists :
The art exists not because of any lets-challenge-the-system-regulators or question its integrity as medium (unless the art and artist specifically set out to do that).
It exists in spite of the medium; it just allows a different kind of interaction. So the participatory/audience/artist are the only relational aspect. The art still exists in its own space. But experienced differently. Including the artists experience.
Just as with mix music and possibly the advent of electronic music perse, when it was luddite-ly seen only as bona fide if the instrument or engagement was *real* and not a de-humanised product.
So to with social media as an inclusion – mechanism…even to the point of *fans*
But the art within the use of this mechanism is still its own entity and THEREIN lies the SUBLTY whether you think it banal, unquestioning, or not.