Art in the Aggregate

In response to my post on ambient creativity, speaking to how our online creative outlets of Twitter and Facebook might be sapping our ambition for bigger projects, the idea came up that maybe we don’t need to seek out masterpieces of these new media. Instead, what about thinking of social media networks as aggregate works of art?

What Does Facebook’s New Photo Viewer Mean for Artists Online?

Since the inception of Facebook’s photo viewer, an influential tool that’s become the go-to for documentation of everything from social events to product launches, users have been stuck at a pretty lousy 72 DPI and 720 pixels. Those digits mean an image size that’s low enough to make even high quality pictures look bad, adding grain and distorted colors. The limitations were even annoying enough for artist Jonald James to start a Facebook group in protest, Artists Against Facebook’s Image Compression Process. Yet though difficulties remain, new Facebook updates point to a way forward for art and artists online. The message of James’ group is that Facebook isn’t just for presenting shitty party pics, but also presents a tool that artists depend on for marketing and sales. “Let’s face it,” their About statement reads, “Facebook’s photo management really sucks.”

Jennifer Dalton is “Making Sense” of Jerry Saltz’s Facebook Page

Now that Jerry Saltz has proven himself — yet again — to be an attention whore with his stint on Work of Art, I’m starting to like him more … yes, I love a car crash. And just when we were all jonesing for another fix of “What is crazy uncle Jerry up to?” Artist Jennifer Dalton is opening a show today at the Flag Art Foundation called “Making Sense,” which (among other things) is an “ … attempt to make sense of … New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz’s incredibly popular Facebook page.” Let the games begin …

Why are iPhone Polaroids so Popular?

You may have seen it on your friend’s Facebook pages or the screen of a mobile phone, on a Twitter image service or a Tumblr blog. An aesthetic rash has been plaguing popular photography as of late, but it’s not a new one. A slew of iPhone ‘Polaroid’ applications are turning people’s visual diaries into retro, oversaturated documents of social lives, friends and lovers. But what makes these applications so popular

Always Social: Social Media Art (2004-2008), Part One

Some time in 2004, I logged onto Facebook for the very first time. My alma mater was one of the few allowed coveted access to the Harvard-originated social network. I filled out a profile, uploaded a picture and began adding friends. A coast away, Tim O’Reilly coined the term “Web 2.0” … Computers and the Internet, after decades of association with nerds and misfits, were on the brink of mainstream cool.

New Museum’s Richard Flood Equates Bloggers with Prairie Dogs

Referencing prairie dogs and Mussolini, yesterday New Museum chief curator Richard Flood wound up his talk at the Portland Art Museum on “Creating Networks: The New Internationalism” with some bracing criticism of his own directed at online critique of his institution. Unlike the rest of his talk which very sharply traced American art world’s relationship with work by international artists 1980s to present from his vantage points at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Artforum, the Walker Art Center, the New Museum, his final comments were wildly out of touch with the ways we have conversations about art now.

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