Thursday, February 23, 2012
you win internet
The internet is a very efficient means of sharing artwork and ideas: here is my work, illuminated and explained. At the same time, however, the internet is a much better platform -- in fact a *fantastic* platform -- for sharing every kind of pornography you can think of and pictures of cats asking for cheeseburgers. If you imagined the internet as an ocean, almost every wave would be pictures of Kim Kardashian's ass or ugly people shopping at Walmart, and you'd have to go pretty deep to find meaningful (or successful) creative expression. So why do artists persist with things like portfolio sites and blogs and Flickr pages and Etsy shops and online galleries? Because they think they are sharing, and contributing to some kind of dialogue, and that this in turn validates their work, especially if it commodifies it and they can get paid. Artists (hopefully) create things to say something, to add their voice, to join a community. To express and share talent. But, at least as far the internet goes, I think this belief in some kind of wider artistic empathy is wrong. I think that all you are doing is putting up yet another flag, lost in a sea of a million other flags, the vast majority of which are awful and gaudy, but all of which want to be noticed and acknowledged and paid (and a very few will, which perpetuates the idea that success can happen to you, too). There's too much. I used to go to art galleries. I used to go to shows. I don't anymore. Art comes to me. It bobs all around me, all the time. Every second person with any kind of artistic ambition is sharing something, all the time (including me). I don't have to look -- it's just there. On Facebook on Twitter on Tumblr on Flickr on Blogger on Wordpress on Everything. Right now I must have fifty art/illustration bookmarks on my browser that I never have time to visit. Are we connected on LinkedIn? Good, because now I can ignore you. None of your information is meaningful unless I'm looking for it. In fact, the information deluge has made just about all of it that much less meaningful. And anyway, I've got some topless college girls wearing antlers (artistic!) to look at.