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:

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.


To establish artist’s nonprofessional status in society,
he must demonstrate artist’s dispensability and
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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