Today, we seem to have noooooo limited access to old and new art with the advent of digital photography, at-home scanning, and social media. Pop on your insta feed and use the #art; everything you could imagine flows into a feed that you could never keep up with if you tried to follow them all. To keep your feed from being overwhelming we have algorithms. Some server, in another state, decides what you see based on the likes and follows you feed to it, and then it keeps the algorithm going by showing you more of the same.
And what do they curate for us to see? You know. Those brightly exposed yet contrasty and somewhat abstracty paintings with little depth because the camera or scan doesn't translate it well….. and, oh, if you are really cool, flakes of gold leaf.
I’ve been thinking on this reality and a little worried for the future of young artists, including myself. What if all this “unlimited sharing” is actually harmful? Rather than empowering us to share new bodies of work, we instead mimic each other in the perpetual hamster-wheel trying to please the algorithm gods.
Now, I do think artwork is meant to be shared, and as an artist who has made it her career, it also helps that the artwork I create then share becomes popular. It helps lead me to other jobs and more knowledge to my greater body of work, but my concern is this:
Some artwork simply does not look good on instagram and never will.
AND THAT IS OK. It’s actually good.