Hyperallergic and Tumblr have joined forces to present “The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium.” This project, which is part discussion and part exhibition, explores the fast-evolving artistic landscape of Tumblr, one of the world’s leading social media and blogging platforms.

“Over the last few years, artists have been gravitating to Tumblr as an open and welcoming platform for artists and the art community,” says Hrag Vartanian, editor-in-chief of the Brooklyn-based art blogazine Hyperallergic. “The types of art projects being created on Tumblr are diverse and growing by the day, so we felt it was time to have a discussion about the art community on Tumblr and how they are impacting art making today.”

“This is an exciting context for art on Tumblr,” says Tumblr Arts Evangelist Annie Werner. “What was once floating out into the ether is now constructed in an official, curatorial format. It’s an amazing experience for artists using the platform as a medium — we hope to see only more of it.”

The one-day event on Saturday, March 9, which coincides with Armory Arts Week in New York, will feature an exhibition and function as a forum for work to be discussed, shared, liked, uploaded, and critiqued.

Why is Tumblr a medium that is increasingly being used by artists? What does Tumblr contribute to the creative process? These and many other questions will be explored during the March 9 evening conference that invites artists, writers, curators, art enthusiasts, and others to discuss the wondrous world of art on Tumblr.

The Tumblr Art Symposium came about after an important essay published last year by Hyperallergic writer Ben Valentine, “Tumblr as Art,” started asking questions about Tumblr and what it means for art. Tumblr, he wrote, “creates an issue: sustained attention on a single work is hard to come by, causing a devaluing of authorship,” while also creating a “completely new type and scale of engagement for the average viewer.” These are new conditions for art, but they are also challenges that artists love.

An Active Dialogue

Among the invited speakers and panels for The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium are pioneering net artist G. H. Hovagimyan, who will discuss Tumblr’s relationship with early net art, the duo behind Eco Art Tech (Leila Nadir and Cary Peppermint), who will explore the environmental ecology of Tumblr and social media, and curator Christiane Paul, who wrote the important book Digital Art.

The event will also welcome cutting-edge architect and architectural theorist Christoph a. Kumpusch, who for the last decade collaborated with Lebbeus Woods to create Woods’s only completed work, the Light Pavilion, which was unveiled in China last fall. Kumpusch will make a presentation about the implications of claiming space, artistic and otherwise, on the internet.

There will also be a discussion with leading artists who utilize Tumblr in their practice, including Brad Troemel of the popular group art tumblelog The Jogging, who will share his thoughts on art online and the peculiarities of Tumblr as a medium for art.

To complement the symposium, Hyperallergic and Tumblr have commissioned essays by a number of leading writers, who will explore the topic of Tumblr and its relationship to art. The essays will be published in the weeks and days ahead of the March 9 symposium on Hyperallergic and Hyperallergic’s tumblelog, LABS. The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium essay series is supported by Pernod Absinthe.

The event will feature a one-day exhibition of work by artists who use Tumblr actively. Titled Walking into the Dashboard, the show will bring together some of the best work being created in the medium, while opening up discussion about what constitutes a successful work online and how art created on Tumblr can be exhibited.

The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium builds on Hyperallergic’s active public discussion about the relationship of social media and art that began with its landmark 2010 exhibition #TheSocialGraph (, which broke new ground in its exploration of art on social media.

Hyperallergic & Tumblr Present
“The World’s First Tumblr Art Symposium”

March 9, 2013, 6PM
319 Scholes Street, Brooklyn, NY 11216 (map)

For more information and to RSVP, please visit
Follow along at
The hashtag for the event will be #TumblrArt.

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