Art, Social Media and The Evolution of the Human Network
A historic exhibition on contemporary Cuban artists that investigates global interconnectivity via social media.
On View until October 29, 2012 at Paragon Gallery
“Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves.
In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity. In fact some of the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. Great artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo were also great at science. Michelangelo knew a lot about how to quarry stone, not just how to be a sculptor.” Steve Jobs
I could not agree more. I believe that engineering is the highest level of importance you could reach in the world and if you complement it with art you are set for life. So if you are an artists it is important that you have at least some knowledge on how to code or make a simple post on the internet.
I often talk to some of my visual artists friends and I feel they are a little skeptical about having an internet page, a fan page on Facebook, a blog and so on. They criticize those who spent hours using the live feeds to promote their work. They think they do it out of pure vanity. And I truly believe they are wrong because this is the way we communicate in the 21 century and if you do not take advantage of it you will not be included in the “Timeline” of life. And unless you have a great agent, a publicist and marketeers your work will perish in a warehouse somewhere in town. In other words, you will not make it to top or even sell your art at a decent price while you are alive or even after you are dead.
Why so much resistance? I was reading a very interesting articles, according to a report by the National Endowment for the Arts Americans who take part in the arts through technology and electronic media – using the Internet, television, radio, computers, and handheld devices – are nearly three times more likely to attend live arts events; attend twice as many live arts events; and attend a greater variety of genres of live arts events.
People who participate in the arts through electronic media are nearly three times as likely to attend live benchmark arts events as non-media participants (59 percent versus 21 percent). In addition, they attend twice as many arts events on average (6 events versus 3 events in one year) and in a greater variety of live art forms. Media-based arts participation appears to encourage — rather than replace — live arts attendance.
Education continues to be the best predictor of arts participation among adults – both for live attendance and through electronic media. Survey respondents with at least some college education were more likely than respondents with a grade school education to have used electronic media to participate in the arts.
For many Americans — primarily older Americans, lower income, and racial/ethnic minority groups — electronic media is the only way they participate in benchmark arts events.
The 15.4 percent of U.S. adults who use media only to engage with the arts are equally likely to be urban or rural.
Twenty-one percent (47 million) of all U.S. adults reported using the Internet to view music, theater, or dance performances in the last 12 months. Twenty-four percent (55 million) obtained information about the arts online.
Isn’t the artist always looking to interact with the observer, the reader….? The term social media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue. Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein define social media as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content.” Social media are media for social interaction, as a set of methods to enhance social communication, using ubiquitously accessible and scalable communication techniques.
It is a fact that we are confronted with the Internet, social media, and other new technologies, and I believe we must embrace them and integrate them into our work. It is time to get involved, to share, to be social, to be a programmer, to be a painter, a web designer, a blogger, a publisher an Artist!
This exhibition will explore how visual artists perceive these media as new ways of expressing their inner world. How they define, construct, and support contemporary Art via Social Media. Do they believe these new technologies will change forever the way we consume art? How are they embracing it?
Leticia del Monte
Founder of The Cuban Art Project