Gesamtkunstwerk [guh-zahmt-koonst-verk] Coined by opera composer Richard Wagner, this term can be loosely translated to mean "universal artwork" or as "a synthesis of the arts" or as "a total work of art."
Basically… Society as a whole is one big work of art.
Human activity, language, thought, and anything we produce, structures – or sculpts – society.
This is even more true in an age of social media.
Intel’s Museum of Me puts online data into a whole new context. It identifies friends you frequently interact with, photos you’ve uploaded, things you ‘like,’ and other Facebook assets, and assembles it into a portrait of you - all in an elegant, surrealist video.
As of June 10, 2011, about half a million users have shared links to Intel’s campaign promoting its new Core i5 processor… …which is more traffic than Intel’s official corporate museum has attracted.
ART VS. SOCIAL MEDIA
“ By art, let’s say we mean the products of the traditional, professionalized art world, a privileged class of esthetic objects set apart from ordinary communicative acts, authored by a special person called an artist. ”
“ For social media, let’s say we mean all these new-fangled media platforms which are highly accessible, and based around enabling open-ended conversations between networks of participants. ”
“ The utility of this operation is that it lets us see that the question of art and social media actually involves an opposition between two different fields, with different logics: a relatively exclusive, closed-in type of expression vs. a relatively open, relation-based mode of operation. ” - BEN DAVIS, Associate Editor, ArtNet
And he’s not alone... Many artists and critics dismiss online media as a threat to the arts.
“ Many of us in the arts battle the technology invasion, performing our own version of the refrain that those who do not remember their own history are condemned to repeat it. ” ROCCO LANDESMAN CHAIRMAN, National Endowment for the Arts
Do you remember…
When these represented the end of live music?
When these represented the end of film?
The original threat to fine art!
“ None of these innovations led to the death of the art form, but instead contributed to its spread and helped create new audiences. ” ROCCO LANDESMAN CHAIRMAN, National Endowment for the Arts
SOCIAL MEDIA AS ART Social Media as Art
This is Man Bartlett.
Man Bartlett is a Philadelphia-born interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in New York City.
This is #24hport, one of Bartlett’s performances.
On May 25, 2011, Man Bartlett spent 24 straight hours inside New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal. During this time, he navigated through the terminal’s vast and complex architecture, asking the people he encounters (and the people who followed the project online) 2 questions: “Where have you been?” “Where are you going?” SOURCE: Creative Time Tweets http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2011/tweets/
Port Authority’s 168 gates served as points of departure for a series of conversations about the relationship between memory and geography. Through this dialogue, #24hPort connected two audiences: physical passers-by in Port Authority and the artist’s geographically dispersed Twitter followers. The project also explored the roles of both the transportation system—in which the terminal, and New York City more broadly, are major hubs—and emerging, online social platforms like Twitter in facilitating cultural exchange. SOURCE: Creative Time Tweets http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2011/tweets/
The project’s Twitter stream documented the endeavor, producing a real-time history of the artist and audience’s collective experience as it unfolded over 24 hours. SOURCE: Creative Time Tweets http://creativetime.org/programs/archive/2011/tweets/
Social Media is attractive to artists for 2 reasons:
OPEN-ENDEDNESS “ The possibilities are endless. ” Louise Shannon CURATOR, Victoria & Albert Museum SOURCE: The Social Revolution by Barbara Pollock http://artnews.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=3333
“ Networks are saturated with the traces of our lives: messages we send, blog entries we post, borders we cross. Decode: Digital Design Sensations ” SCALE SOURCE: The Social Revolution by Barbara Pollock http://artnews.com/issues/article.asp?art_id=3333
Other noteworthy examples of social art…
PEOPLE MATTER By Nic*Rad 99 portraits of Internet personalities from RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and FourSquare
ELLSWORTH KELLY HACKED MY TWITTER By Brian Piana A real-time chart of postings from people Brian Piana follows on Twitter
THE ARTIST IS KINDA PRESENT By An Xiao Performance in which artists has conversations with gallery attendees via Twitter
But wait – Is this ART?
There are 3 approaches to art: REALIST “This is a cup. This is not a work of art.” OBJECTIVIST “This cup is beautiful, and therefore a work of art.” RELATIVIST “If this cup is in a museum, it must be a work of art.”
What unifies the 3 approaches? Purpose.
Art stimulates emotions and/or intellect. “ If a man is infected by the author’s condition of soul, if he feels this emotion and this union with others, than the object with has effected this is art. LEO TOLSTOY What is Art? ”
Social media is the canvas.
The subject is you.
Does your social data belong to a unified story?
Does your social data have meaning?
“ Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking, and structures that shape and inform our lives. - JOSEPH BEUYS ”