Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media
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At the LA Art Book Fair, a Missed Opportunity to Address Race

At the LA Art Book Fair, a Missed Opportunity to Address Race | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES — In the days leading up to the LA Art Book Fair (LAABF), and during Thursday's preview, members of the LA arts community criticized the organizers for their use of the Black Lives Matt...
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The Real-Life Applications of "Post-Internet" Art

The Real-Life Applications of "Post-Internet" Art | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
LONDON — The best works on view in this seven-artist selection are "post-internet" experiments (sorry) that probe the ways in which the internet has reconfigured, and continues to reconfigure, such...
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Is iPhone Photography Getting Better?

Is iPhone Photography Getting Better? | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
When most people think of iPhone photography, they think of Instagram. But not everybody is enamored with the popular app: namely, some professional photographers.
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Instagram Photos Reappear on the Streets Where They Were Taken

Instagram Photos Reappear on the Streets Where They Were Taken | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
What if instead of only showing up online, your Instagram photos of sunsets, street art, photogenic cityscapes, or alluring strangers on subway platforms were posted back into New York City's publi...
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Can Computers Interpret Art?

Can Computers Interpret Art? | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
Novice Art Blogger records the impressions of a computer encountering abstract and representational art from the Tate's digitized collection for the first time.
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Constant Dullaart, "High Retention - Slow Delivery" (2014). Web-based artwork commissioned by Jeu de Paume, Paris

Constant Dullaart, "High Retention - Slow Delivery" (2014). Web-based artwork commissioned by Jeu de Paume, Paris | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it

Constant Dullaart has created a new piece that takes a critical look at social media. With High Retention, Slow Delivery (2014) Constant Dullaart targets the contemporary attention economy as brought to life by social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. With their sharing mechanisms (e.g. "Likes“, "Retweets“, "Followers“ and "Friends“) these social media stimulate “an appreciation system based on popularity over quality, and social skills over talent”. The more Followers, Likes, Retweets and Friends you have, the better. The more attention you get, the more valuable you become in the context of social media. Attention has become the new, extremely hard currency – and “Friends” have become the agents of this economy. Ultimately, the quantification of everything leads to a total capitalization of community1. 

 

However, sometimes the numbers of Followers, Friends, Retweets and Likes seem to be improbably high. Constant Dullart got interested precisely in these “unnaturally” high numbers. Who were all these Friends and Followers who constantly Liked, Clicked and Retweeted? Going through hundreds of profiles of various "armies“ of Followers the artist soon noticed that many of those profiles were entirely machine-generated, consisting of randomly harvested photos and names of people found online. Most of these fake ‘Potyomkin’ profiles display exactly five photos and bear strange combination of names.

You can buy these machine-generated Followers in packs of thousands in order to increase your fame: “It’s not who you know, it’s who follows you.” Ebay is the preferred place of trade. “High Retention, Slow Delivery” is an advertisement slogan used to sell fake Followers: It refers to the amount of time the Followers stay with one’s account, and how they are ‘delivered’: they will be added slowly and in small groups, and therefore everything will look just normal. 

 

With High Retention, Slow Delivery, Constant Dullaart has created a social media hack that has the goal of literally, quote, "spreading attention economy socialism“. How does this work? Dullaart buys large quantities of artificial Instagram (and at a later point in time also Twitter) Followers whom he then assigns and spreads exactly evenly to various people on these platforms. For this project he uses the Instagram and Twitter platforms as here one does not have to explicitly “accept” Followers, unlike on Facebook and LinkedIn for example. One could potentially add an unlimited numbers of Followers to any Instagram and Twitter account.  "Spreading attention economy socialism“ means literally that Constant Dullaart will set the amount of Followers of a certain number of people to the same number, thus making it impossible to see who is more popular than the other. Numbers thus become useless because everybody is the same. 

 

This performative, time-based work exists during the social media hack and consists of the processs of temporarily altering relations between points/actors. There is no material object, only an online video documentation with a voice over explaining the process. High Retention, Slow Delivery (2014) messes up the process of quantification which is so central for the current attention economy. By re-distributing and re-assigning the new hard currency of our increasingly quantified society it renders a central element of social media useless. Oh, btw, Dullaart is a real name. Like it or not.

 

Dr. Inke Arns

 

1 / See Byung-Chul Han, “Kommunismus als Ware”, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2. September 2014, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/neoliberales-herrschaftssystem-warum-heute-keine-revolution-moeglich-ist-1.2110256

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Who to Follow on Instagram: Art Edition

Who to Follow on Instagram: Art Edition | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
I adore Instagram, and while I'm still wondering how the Facebook acquisition will impact this jewel of a smartphone photo-sharing service, here are some art-related people, institutions and accoun...
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Richard Prince, Inc.

Richard Prince, Inc. | Contemporary Visual Arts and Social Media | Scoop.it
Richard Prince: New Portraits consists of 37 of the artist’s so-called “Instagram paintings,” each of which, if we’re to believe an anonymous source of the New York Post, are selling for around $10...
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