Social media art

Reactor

The Found Poetry of Google Autocomplete

by An Xiao on November 11, 2013

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Could our collective searches generate beauty? I, and presumably 60,000+ others, have been intrigued by Google Poetics, a Twitter account consisting of found poetry from Google search terms.

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Post image for The Way We Share: Transparency in Curatorial Practice

We’ve heard the argument that everyone’s a curator online by means of blogging and reblogging, but what about the professional curators who are responsible for producing major physical exhibitions — how are they using social platforms? The ability to publicly explore new theories, archive research, and participate in creative communities, has signaled a new era of openness and transparency in curatorial practice. One example is the research blog that accompanied Paola Antonelli’s Talk to Me exhibition in 2011 at the Museum of Modern Art. The site, stunningly bold and rigorous in its approach, chronicled projects to research, readings, and inspirational ideas for exhibition design. By providing visitors with a backstage tour, Antonelli and her team aimed to shed an honest light on curatorial process, revealing over a year’s worth of research that lead to the exhibition.

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Post image for Tumblr, Art, and Web 2.0 Ecologies: The Medium Is Still the Message

On the eve of web 2.0, there were a few sites emerging like Zing.com, an early place for photo sharing. The technology of self-surveillance wasn’t up to speed at that point to make them stick though. Facebook and smartphones would go on to complete the social shift to “sharing.” “Overexposed Dancing” was one of our early works that anticipated this change.

From 1997 to 2003, we worked together on a series of internet art performances, all of which were archived on Cary’s website, Restlessculture.net. Our performances took place on eBay, Evite, Ofoto, MySpace, and a host of other early social media sites that no longer exist. Taking off from Marcel Duchamp’s concept of the readymade, we called these performances “digital readymades.”

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Post image for Our Reblogs, Ourselves

For centuries, images were a fairly quantifiable, classifiable thing. One could, if one wanted, generally divide them into two categories: those made by artists and those not; artworks and everything else. There were always complications, of course — where did photojournalism fall, or works made by bad artists, or family photos — but the lines were pretty distinctly drawn: no matter the content or method, art images were those created by artists toiling away in studios or monasteries or workshops; they were shown in galleries and museums and sometimes books, framed very clearly as capital-A Art. Plenty of artists have worked to undermine or discredit this system, like Richard Prince, who upset a lot of people when he started rephotographing Marlboro ads in 1980. Theoretically, the question with Prince went: was this art or copied advertising? The work, however, was shown in specifically designated art spaces, with Prince’s name clearly attached to it. It was undoubtedly art, even if people at first didn’t agree on its qualifications.

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Post image for On Coffee Houses, Salons, and the Post Arts

So back in the late 15th century, Ottoman people started gathering to drink together. The beverage they consumed? The magical elixir and arguably the greatest drink known to humanity, coffee.

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Post image for Tell Me About Your Mother’s Tumblr

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of commissioned essays for The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

I created my first internet artwork in 1993. At the time I was trying to have my work shown by various galleries but without success. The piece was titled “BKPC” (1993), or “Barbie and Ken Politically Correct.” It was a series of 12 photo-vignettes that told a story. This was before the World Wide Web and browsers. Most people accessed the internet via 1440 baud dial-up modems. I was a member of a computer BBS (bulletin board service), called thing bbs, which consisted mostly of text forums, although you could upload low-res GIFs that other members could download. I decided to present my artwork, one image a week with a short blurb, on the bbs.

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Post image for Artists Ask What It Means to Like, Share, Follow

In an ideal social media universe, Facebook users would feel comfortable enough to openly tell all of their friends whether or not they’re organ donors, what they’re up to this weekend, and if they are in a relationship, single, or looking. There would be no Facebook stalkers or strange friend requests. Everything really would be about trust. Social networks are not utopic spaces, however; they are digital microcosms of our real world, albeit with the “protection” of a screen. In the exhibition Like. Share. Follow. at Columbia College’s Hokin Gallery, Chicago artists Kevin Serna, James T. Green, Ethan Aaro Jones, Evan Baden, and Josh Billions explore the impact of instant communication via socially networked spaces on our lives today.

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Essays

Twitter as Art

by Ben Valentine on July 13, 2012

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After thinking through the idea of Tumblr as art, I began to find the difference between various social media platforms glaringly obvious. Marshall McCluhan’s phrase “the medium is the message” came to mind. How do settings and mediums change or possibly mandate artistic intention? After exploring Tumblr’s unique qualities, I wanted to expand the focus to another relatively new platform for artistic creation, Twitter.

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Post image for Why I Deleted My Facebook Account

In 2010 I came close. It was around the time that there was a big stink about Facebook’s changes to its Privacy Policy. Remember that? No? It’s cool, I’d forgotten too, despite how upset I was at the time. I told myself then that I couldn’t afford to leave my “network.” And that was probably true. Facebook provided a lot of visibility for my art practice and directly led to at least a few sales. But this time was different. I’ll get to the “why” in a minute, but first, the “how.”

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Post image for Cloaque.org, An Online Collaborative Collage

An interview with Carlos Sáez, about his collaborative piece, “Cloaque.org.” The tumblelog, created with Cladia Mate, is a stunning collaborative collage.

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