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Symposium

I loved the Symposium 2 day – though it was hectic it was suddenly very obvious too me how different our course is to most other creative courses. Because the only thing that binds us is ‘digital’ we have ended up making more than 20 very different projects – I am very exited for the exhibition and seeing everything in one room!

I was quite happy that I managed to use so many of my findings from my research paper in the symposium video and I was overwhelmed by how positive the comments were. So, all in all  I think the symposium went very well – though being last is might also have had some influence ;)

Kiers, Jonathan and Harry recommended the Richard Dawkins Meme video - ironically enough I was in Cannes when it was shown at he New Directors Showcase but I had to attend a meeting and missed it live … I now wish I hadn’t… Here’s the link (if anyone is reading and doesn’t know it). Sadly, it might not be viral material but it is rather educational – and psychedelic.

Then I had some nice rations the pictures of lolcats I threw in the video to illustrate a point – which made me want to finish my personal project for the show but I’m afraid it’s to much work within the time I have left…

Luckily people also like the #ISEEFACESs#ISEELEGS project. This is important because I guess it will be a main piece of a sort.

The idea of getting people involved was also appreciated. Edward Kelly rightly pointed out that my main focus now should be on how I can engage people at the show – I will create a post in near future dedicated to this question!

Lionel thought I should exhibit some of the  #ISEEFACESs#ISEELEGS  work in selected prints. I think Jonathan has suggested this before and I’ve wanted to but I was afraid since I don’t own the work. We discussed that I might put the original participants name on the m instead an I really like that idea!

Lionel also had a good comment to the fact that I might end up editing the work on my website. He thought it wouldn’t be democratic and really I agree – but sadly it still might be necessary. Anyway, I think I will program it so I have the option and then  I might not use it in the end.

Thank you all on the course for your time and comments – AND thank you for showing your amazing projects!

 

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Social media networks and other digital platforms connect people from all over the world, and therefore they can easily be used as a basis for creating crowd-sourced art. I love the accessible spirit of social media, and that contributions to my art might come from anyone or anywhere in the world.
I am fascinated with Internet memes and the way they spread across cultural boundaries. Though they are often silly and have no artistic intentions they bind people together, and inspire them to play along just be a part of something bigger.

My Project Proposal.

I started my project proposal with a single question: Can art be social?

By Social Media Art, I mean art that uses social media as a platform to enable audience participation or crowd sourcing.

From my own early experiments and by looking at the work of other social media artists I quickly noticed some important differences between social media art and how we normally view art.

Art is widely regarded exclusive, created by professionals – the artists.

But because of the open and inclusive nature of social media, anyone can be part of an art project, and therefore the participants are often non-professionals.

Experience trough active participation is crucial and very different than the more passive experience of viewing the finished work of a regular artwork.

Instead of being the sole originator – I saw myself becoming more of an initiator or curator.

The Research Paper

For my research paper I chose to take a deeper look at the Fluxus movement as I noticed several similarities between the characteristics in Fluxus and those I had found my own social media art practice.
Fluxus also defied the established ideas of aesthetics and the role of the artist. Audience participation was often crucial, and the notorious Fluxus scores can be compared to the Internet Memes of today – the word Meme; meaning “to copy”.
By using the basic principles of Fluxus as a decoder I found I could come closer to identifying and understanding some of the core values in social media art.
(Vis eksempler)
In his “Broadside Manifest” of ’65, founding member Maciunas actually renounces the word ‘art’ and instead calls Fluxus ‘Art-amusement.

From the Broadside Manifest:

“ART”
To justify (the) artist’s professional, parasitic and elite status in society,
he must demonstrate artist’s indispensability and exclusiveness,
he must demonstrate the dependability of audience upon him,
he must demonstrate that no one but the artist can do art.

(…)

“FLUXUS ART-AMUSEMENT”
To establish artist’s nonprofessional status in society,
he must demonstrate artist’s dispensability and
inclusiveness,
he must demonstrate the self-sufficiency of the audience,
he must demonstrate that anything can be art and anyone can do it.”

I found five important disparities between “Art” and “Fluxus Art-amusement” in the Broadside Manifest:

Art is by professionals – Art-Amusement is by non-professionals
Art is exclusive – Art-Amusement is inclusive
Art works are rare and limited – Art-Amusement is dispensable and mass-produced
Art is profound and intellectual – Art-Amusement is simple, amusing and unpretentious
Art is for an elite audience – Art-Amusement is obtainable and eventually produced by all.

But, most importantly Fluxus made active participation new valid way of experiencing art – As Hannah Higgens notes in her book Fluxus Experience; the active experience of Fluxus is not more profound or meaningful than the passive experience of ’regular’ art. It is simply an equally valid way of experiencing art.

My own Practice

In the spirit of Fluxus I am creating a series of different social media art experiences for our final show.
Since I am not a strong coder I have decided to build on the platforms and the behavioural patterns that already exist on the Internet, such as hashtags and memes. The projects should all be live – enabling contributions from anywhere – in real-time.

My first project #venusreborn is a crowd sourced artwork created with thumbnails on Instagram. By using a custom hashtag and submitting their work in a certain order participants can create, what on the thumbnail page, appears to be a larger image.
My second project also builds on Instagram as a platform and uses hashtags. But this time I’ve chosen to highjack a well-known hashtag instead of creating my own. In this project, I’ve created a website called www.iseefacesiseelegs where I take pictures tagged #iseefaces and place them on top of pictures with the hashtag #iseelegs. Together they form almost robot-like creatures.

For my last projects I’m leaving Instagram. I have several ideas, and I hope to make 2-3 more experiences that people can join into.

I’m working on an online Smile collection box, The never ending Canon – and, a Crowd sourced video project through the social video service Vine.

As in the words of Maciunas these projects are not meant have a profound underlying message, but instead they should simply involve people in active participation. They are meant as a series of experiences, an opportunity to be part of something.

 

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