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An Artist's guide to social media

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AN ARTIST’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
HOW TO PROMOTE CREATION
AND INCREASE VISIBILITY
ON THE WEB
A PRACTICAL GUIDE
2ND
EDITION...
INTRODUCTION: THE NEW GIFT OF MEDIA 1
CHAPTER 1: TEN WAYS TO BENEFIT FROM THE SOCIAL WEB..............................8
1....
A BRIEF DICTIONARY OF THE SOCIAL WEB
Buzz: Originally taken from the feeling experienced after taking
illicit substances, ...
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An Artist's guide to social media

  1. 1. AN ARTIST’S GUIDE TO SOCIAL MEDIA HOW TO PROMOTE CREATION AND INCREASE VISIBILITY ON THE WEB A PRACTICAL GUIDE 2ND EDITION 2014 ALEXIA GUGGÉMOS
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION: THE NEW GIFT OF MEDIA 1 CHAPTER 1: TEN WAYS TO BENEFIT FROM THE SOCIAL WEB..............................8 1. Present an artistic work 2. Promote an event 3. Develop relationships with the press 4. Encourage internet users to share their artistic discoveries 5. Create a participative work 6. Sell a work 7. Secure gallery partnership 8. Implement monitoring tools 9. Construct an e-reputation 10. Aim at an international target CHAPTER 2: CHOOSE THE MOST SUITABLE FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA................43 1. Facebook: The official platform to complement a website 2. Twitter: The news in real time 3. YouTube: Video portfolio 4. Instagram: Image sharing 5. Wikipedia: A universal catalogue 6. The Blog : Influential territory CHAPTER 3: PROTECTING RIGHTS AND WORKS ON THE INTERNET ...................63 1. Creative Commons licenses and the strange principle of free material 2. Legal precautions on the web: a guide by Anne-Marie Macé CONCLUSION: POINTS TO REMEMBER .............................................................71 INTERVIEWS ISABELLE DE MAISON ROUGE, ART CRITIC.......................................................12 JR, PHOTOGRAPHER AND STREET ARTIST .......................................................21 PHILIPPE STARCK, DESIGNER..........................................................................26 MAGDA DANYSZ, GALLERIST...........................................................................41 CLAIRE DUCHESNE, ADMINISTRATOR FOR FACEBOOK FAN PAGES ...................48 XAVIER VEILHAN, VISUAL ARTIST.....................................................................61 ANNE-MARIE MACÉ, LAWYER AND COPYRIGHT EXPERT...................................68 TOOL SHEETS..................................................................................................73 10 SOCIAL MEDIA SITES 10 TOOLS TO MANAGE AN E-REPUTATION 10 TOOLS FOR DEVELOPMENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA 10 INFLUENTIAL ART MEDIA 10 RESOURCES TO DEVELOP FURTHER PRACTICAL PAGES..........................................................................................84 CREATE A FAN PAGE ON FACEBOOK CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON TWITTER CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON GOOGLE+ CREATE A CHANNEL ON YOUTUBE CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON INSTAGRAM CREATE AN ACCOUNT ON SOUNDCLOUD CREATE A PAGE ON WIKIPEDIA CREATE A BLOG ON WORDPRESS CREATE A BLOG ON TUMBLR MOBILITY KIT: 35 MOBILE APPS FOR CREATION AND PUBLICATION..................95
  3. 3. A BRIEF DICTIONARY OF THE SOCIAL WEB Buzz: Originally taken from the feeling experienced after taking illicit substances, namely cannabis or ecstasy, when linked to the Internet, buzz describes the outside interest generated by a piece of information online. A “bad buzz” is a rumour which is spread to disadvantage a certain party. Content curation: The practice of selecting, organising, screen- ing and amassing content by source and subject. It allows for the result to be republished from its original group to a com- munity sharing a common interest. The traditional practice of curation is digitalised in the discovery and the distribution of online content. Digital native: Someone who has grown up in a digital environ- ment, surrounded by computers and the web. The digital native phenomenon is studied by sociologists who seek to understand its evolution alongside new forms of information and communi- cation technologies. Dunbar’s number: Also known as the “rule of 150”, dictates that the size of a primary social network and the number of social relationships a human can sustain is limited to 150 mem- bers. This rule results from sociological and anthropological studies on the maximum size of a village (in the sense of an “eco-village”). Fake: The term globally denotes something fake, or rigged. On Twitter or Facebook, on forums or in Internet chat rooms, some- one who takes another’s identity (name, address, image etc.), or who posts false information. Feedback: In literal terms, feedback describes the effect pro- duced by a device when it re-receives the original information transmitted, resulting in a change or improvement created by this cyclical movement. Hashtag: A way of marking content with a key word. Composed of a lattice-shaped typographic sign “#”, followed by one or more attached words (the tag, or label), the hashtag is widely used on social networks. Hub: To describe a central device. Most airline companies have a principle operation base, namely the airport where they keep maintenance buildings.This base is often used as a central hub, providing a focus for all activity. Microblogging: Creation of short content for publication on social networks, e.g., 140 characters for Twitter. Microblogging allows for rapid broadcasting, often using SMS to post content in its briefest form. One of the main sites for microblogging is Tumblr (tumblr.com). Podcast: Broadcasting of audio files which use the content for- mat RSS (Rich Site Summary). This technique allows users to subscribe to a flux to gain automatic access to audio files. Social network: Serves to connect with friends, associates, and more generally to individuals using a variety of tools in the aim of facilitating, for example, the management of professional ca- reers, distribution, artistic visibility, and private meetings. Social web: The internet as a way to form social relations, serv- ing as a space in which the principle function is for users to in- teract with each other and through this interaction create con- tent. It is associated with different social constructions, such as social networks, blogs, or wikis. Web 2.0: The evolution of the web towards a more simple sys- tem which does not require specific knowledge of technology and interactivity, thus allowing each user to contribute in vari- ous different ways.The expression became generalised in 2007: “DoubleClick was Web 1.0. Google Ad-Sense is Web 2.0. Ofoto was Web 1.0. Flickr is Web 2.0.” Web 3.0 is also called the Se- mantic Web. It provides a common framework, allowing for data to be shared amongst individuals.
  4. 4. 6 7 has become an instantaneous and global reaction. The time has long since passed when, to attract their au- dience, an artist had to produce several works for an annual salon in the hope that it would be accepted by a small group of influential figures. Using this method, the wider public – who were ready to show great en- thusiasm towards the work – would only be introduced to it at a later date, delaying the time it took to gain exposure. Marcel Duchamp’s work, Nude Descending a Staircase, is a case in point: a century ago the same work that was refused by the Société des Artistes In- dépendants later became known as the work to mark the beginning of Modern art. In the affirmation, “it is the viewer who makes the work,” Duchamp had already presented the view that a work of art only finds the true extent of its realism in the face of an appreciative public, positively or nega- tively. A century later, and this “viewer” is present on the web, some even becoming a viewer-tagger. Eyes transfixed on the computer screen, on the tablet or the mobile phone, the online art amateur surfs, channel- hops, scans and interacts through tagging, by leaving positive and negative comments. Analysing the online interaction and reaction stimulated by the appearance of a work of art, we are able to define exactly how the web responds to the work and its content: it is acted out in the “like” on Facebook or the “favourite” clicked to mark a show of approval. Where Cezanne’s era em- ployed the “copy to see” method of popularising and appraising a work of art, this era replaces it with the “tag to share” action. INTRODUCTION: THE NEW GIFT OF MEDIA What has the Internet changed in the life of an artist? Everything; or almost everything. Not insofar as the creative process, of course, but everything about the manner in which an artist and their art are perceived: their relationship with the public, access to informa- tion and, most crucially, the visibility of their work. A Google search is now an automatic reflex to the ex- tent that the verb, to “Google”, made an entry into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006. What artist hasn’t Googled themselves at some point? The motivation is more complex than simply narcissism, when influential figures – namely Geert Lovink, Professor of New Me- dia in Amsterdam – are describing “the society of the query and the Googlization of our lives.” The dictionary as we know it has been replaced by search engines and Wikipedia, the online participatory encyclopaedia, and these digital forms are in constant evolution. They can be constructed, distorted and changed according to the actions, opinions and commitments of internet users. This living, dynamic, reactive material can very quickly become highly beneficial or can spiral out of control depending on the subject matter of the infor- mation. Using their studio as a base, artists must now rely on digitally controlled screens to nurture their online iden- tity, otherwise called an e-reputation. They must ask themselves: “Who is speaking about me on the web? In what terms? At what times? How was my last work, or my last exhibition, perceived? How can I make my work known?” This manner of self analysis and assessment
  5. 5. 8 9 The dawn of the 21st century heralded the era of ex- changing and sharing information: in short, the era of feedback. Today’s generation of 15-30-year-olds thrives on the return of information and constructive criticism generated by the online community. In his work, Le partage, un nouveau modèle? (Sharing, a new model? Editions Ernst & Young), sociologist Michel Maffesoli describes the emergence of a new, digital- centric society as “the marriage of the tribe and the internet defines a new alchemy of sharing.” Drawing on knowledge gained from the sharing of metadata, it is possible for online communities to speak with a col- lective intelligence when describing a work. Some of the youngest artists of our era have thorough- ly explored the benefits of the web in their artistic prac- tice. Visual artist Philippe Ramette prompted online in- terest by broadcasting a “making of” film of one of his works, Le Balcon, online via YouTube, Google’s video sharing network. Showing scenes from an interview, behind-the-scenes film of the work’s progression and its installation in Hong Kong, the extra information, providing a rare and privileged insight into the artist’s life, intrigued more than 8,000 fans who fol- low his work on a daily basis. Going even further in the pursuit of online attention, in 2012 digital artist Valéry Grancher demonstrated his innovative approach to the internet as a platform for publicity through the sale of a unique edition of his work on the online auction site eBay (100 million active users), with the sale starting at just $1. “Good luck!” he joked in an online message left at the launch of the sale. Around ten bidders became involved in the sale and the work was eventually sold to a bidder from the United States for €2,000. Grancher proved that it is possible not only to present, but also to sell, works online, begging the question: to what ex- tent will the internet condition artistic production as we know it? “When I created the series Super Héros [a series of scenes displaying wax models of superheroes in a retirement home] it was a direct response to market demand,” comments visual artist Gilles Barbier, whose artistic pursuit plays with the standardisation of tastes. He appreciates that these superhero figures are likely to capture the attention of internet users and com- mand a good spot on website homepages, whilst this strategy is seen as an essential way to amass funds for his other works: “mega-models”, animated polymor- phic creations made of objects, moulds, writings and trompe-l’oeil. Despite this successful manipulation of the internet, there is still a way to go to imagine a future where the internet replaces the museum as a platform for artist representation, or a gallery and auction house as means of defining their market standing. In the meantime, there are international fairs, biennials, priz- es and some salons which, as before, represent and promote artists, affording them much of their success. Some artists, however, have veered off this well-trod- den path through the employment of a carefully devel- oped communication strategy, which takes the form of increased visibility on an internet site. Pseudonymous French urban artist Invader, known for ceramic mosa- ics in pixelated style, has gained worldwide notoriety for illegally creating works in some of the world’s larg-
  6. 6. 10 11 est megacities – more than 8,800 works have appeared in Paris alone; a practice he refers to as “Invasion.” In- vader has gradually accumulated an influential com- munity of fans, motivated by the challenge to be the first member of this community to discover the artist’s new works, photograph them and post them on the community site, sharing the images via Flickr. Aside from Invader, whose artistic approach could be seen as maverick, the internet also aids the visibility of artists who take more traditional career paths and whose work can already be seen inside some of the world’s greatest museums. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that the names of infamous artists can be found on the web. Take, for example, Pierre Soulages: the painter of “outrenoir”, Soulages has a simple, yet highly effective, website and a regular stream of con- cise news updates in blog format. The blog played a vital role in keeping those interested in Soulages’ work up to date with the construction progress of the Mu- sée Soulages in Rodez, which opened in May 2014. As both Invader and Soulages would most likely testify to, the internet plays an increasingly vital role in an artist’s career. Protest has also found a new voice through digital me- dia. Dissident artist Ai Weiwei has provided a stunning illustration of its potential impact, employing it as a means of expression since 2010, when the artist was prevented from leaving China under the pretext of tax fraud. Before his arrest in 2011, the artist used Twit- ter to communicate with the global community, saying “Freedom of expression is a very essential condition for me to make any art. Also, it is an essential value for my life.” Following his release in July 2011, Ai Wei- wei chose to speak out via Google+, the social network create by the American society, before finally being forced to stop his political activity. For most artists - Ai Weiwei included - the social web is an opportunity to describe their day-to-day lives or comment on recent artistic production. For Ai Weiwei, Twitter is the source of his inspiration, poetry and his position towards con- temporary society. Richard Prince uses the social web to follow the re-appropriation of images, whilst fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac uses it to unveil his drawings inspired by current events. “The internet has allowed me to connect with a young generation who don’t know my work, especially those with back- grounds in hip-hop, like Jay-Z, Kanye West and MIA,” explains the fashion designer. “My overriding handicap was my reputation as jack-of- all-trades - a designer, visual artist and fashion designer -, but the web has really broken down those barriers.” These online community spaces are the new literary and artistic salons, the first port of call for free discus- sion, comment and opinion. More than a third of the time spent on the web is dedicated to reading blogs and surfing social networking sites, a statistic which is gradually growing. Media formats are greatly aided by the media native, who finds it difficult to ignore a video uploaded to a website. More than 100 hours of video are viewed each minute on YouTube, the UK’s fourth most-consulted site after google.co.uk, google.com and facebook.com (according to alexa.com).
  7. 7. 12 13 Art criticism has also changed with the digital revolu- tion. Long prefaces - the glossolalia of the art world – are often omitted from today’s briefer, more rapid, writings which include only the essential details. For optimum visibility, it is a better move to secure an in- terview on an internet site with a large following, or to be cited on a blog, than to appear in a prestigious, but specialist, review or in a magazine with a narrow target audience. A cross-media approach, like that used by the Quotidien de l’Art, can prove an effective method of bridging the media divide. Launched in 2012 and ed- ited exclusively in PDF format, the publication has op- timised the reading experience as users are now able to access content using a digital tablet. The newspa- per content is announced over the publication’s Fa- cebook page and the main headlines are released via their Twitter feed. As the internet expands, so does the art world, becoming totally globalised. To respond to new, international demands, an English version of the Quotidien de l’Art is published at the weekend. “The Quotidien de l’Art strengthens the links between all the figures in the art world,” explains collector Guillaume Houzé. “It is important to invent new models equipped with the best available technology, aiding the collec- tion of expertise needed by all art amateurs.” In 2013, Amazon – the group owned by Jeff Bezos specialising in books, consumer goods and groceries – joined up with galleries to create a platform for the sale of art- works (www.amazon.com/art). The platform currently presents more than 40,000 works, ranging from $10 to 4.85 million for a work by Norman Rockwell. From now until 2017, the online art market is predicted to grow by 20%, reaching almost 2 billion Euros, as revealed by a 2013 report by Hiscox. In terms of price-range, works valued at less than €10,000 – a segment which repre- sents 81% of global sales at auction – are most likely to be exchanged online. Almost 40% of the participants questioned for the report have acquired limited-edition works, 45% have bought paintings, around 40% pho- tography and 20% have invested in drawings. Chris- tie’s saw the proportion of its sales figure gained from online sales rise from 15% in 2007 to 25% by the end of 2012 largely thanks to the auction platform Chris- tie’s LIVE. Online-only sales, or 100% digital sales, have been experimented with to great success. In June 2013, Berlin-based auction house Auctionata estab- lished the record for an online-only sale of a drawing by Austrian artist Egon Schiele, sold for a total of 1.8 million Euros. From behind their computer screens, a new breed of e-collector, often profiled as a technol- ogy geek, can simultaneously and discreetly manage several online auction sales. In just a few years the composition of the art market has been drastically subverted. China is now the sec- ond most powerful actor behind the United States. The United Kingdom is situated in third place, whilst France remains in fourth position with a figure far behind the three leading countries. Marketplaces are multiplying on an international scale with the traditional mainstays – Paris, London and New York – joined by emerging players Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai. Amongst the top ten auction houses, five are Chinese: Poly, China Guardian, Beijing Hanhaï, Shanghai Tianheng and Bei- jing CNTC, all unheard of a decade ago. Globalisation has triggered a fair and biennial culture, currently wit-
  8. 8. 14 15 CHAPTER 1: TEN WAYS TO BENEFIT FROM THE SOCIAL WEB What does Damien Hirst post on his Twitter account, @ hirst_official? Does American filmmaker Bill Voila up- load his films to YouTube? How does Japanese artist Takashi Murakami use his Instagram account, #takash- ipom? What does Ora-ïto talk about on his Facebook page? The internet has significantly redefined the nature of communication between artists and their community of fans and has subverted the traditional practices of professional independence, allowing artists much more freedom in the areas of media, institutions and official art. Social media can be defined as a collective of on- line platforms creating social interaction between users around digital content; in short, they represent a crucial stage in information distribution. Websites now com- bine social networking capabilities with a host of other asserts, including: editorial content; augmented reality applications; exhibitions commented on in real-time; digital radio that can be listened to like an audio guide, allowing the listener to give their opinion; and social TV, created through the convergence of the web and TV screens. Hybrid media forms are experiencing promis- ing growth, their main asset serving as integrated infor- mation garnered from the internet users themselves. A work’s aesthetic value can be determined through the number of online exchanges it generates, says philoso- pher Michel Onfray, founder of the Université Populaire in Caen. “Art must unite and not separate,” he writes in his publication Contre-histoire de la philosphie. The democratisation of art is a developing trend, with the nessing a seemingly irreversible expansion. Develop- ing to Hong Kong, Art Basel has become the only fair in the world to forge links between the three continents. “As a result of its media weight, [Art Basel] is a real war machine,” comments consultant and stockbroker Jean-Marc Decrop, a specialist in Chinese art with of- fices in Hong Kong. How can an artist succeed in presenting their works and communicating on the web when it is overwhelmed by news items? If they are aiming their work at a Shang- hai-based collector, could they create a profile on Chi- nese social networks, QZone and Sina Weibo? De- pending on the international location, navigation of the web is manipulated by the direction of writing: from left to right, top to bottom. The manner in which the web is employed – the popularity of the blogosphere, par- ticipatory style and expression on forums, etc. - varies depending on the user-base. According to a Forrest- er study on international social web practices, more than three quarters of Chinese and Indians in the main urban centres produce and publish social content in comparison with a quarter of American internet users. Italian and Swedish users exploit social networks twice as much as Germans, who prefer discussion forums. This book is both a guide to the social web and a pass- port to a greater understanding and employment of the internet. It also serves as a practical guide for vis- ual artists, photographers and designers who wish to seize control of their online communication and works in the interest of gallerists and art critics who want to promote the artists whose work they encounter.
  9. 9. 16 17 internet acting as a catalyst for positive change. With a foundation in this philosophy, the website exponaute. com, launched in 2010, defines itself as an information site for internet users searching for information on ex- hibitions. It works on the same principle as the French website AlloCiné, a market leader in practical informa- tion to find the times of film screenings or to research a particular cinema and its programme. On exponaute. com, the internet user can also find opinions given by the press on exhibitions and artists and can add their own point of view: crucially, their opinion matters! On the occasion of an exhibition of work by Marc Des- grandchamps at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2011, exponaute.com published reviews from six articles in the French press: Libération, L’Express, Télérama, Connaissance des arts, Le Journal des Arts and an extract from the blog Lunettes rouges, edited by Marc Lenot on lemonde.fr, all contributed to the over- view of the exhibition. The site was also following the comments left by members on around ten other sites (Bulpy, Arteria, etc.) presenting internet users with the opportunity to discover the work of the painter. This function is essential in the reception of exhibitions as many amateur art lovers are now key tastemakers. Can an artist survive without a website in this digital age? Only 20% of French artists exhibited at FIAC had a website to their name. Featuring amongst the most effective websites held by artists, Vincent Lamouroux’s website (vincentlamouroux.com); more creative still, Claude Closky’s website, (sittes.net); and, more intrigu- ingly, the Nøne Futbol Club site (nonefutbolclub.com). A website is the cornerstone of an artist’s digital identity. Some research into the benefits of a particular domain name – for instance .com, .net or .eu – can prove benefi- cial in the long-term, as some extensions are archived by particular organisations, allowing for easy retrieval. That said, an internet site does not have the capacity to single-handedly support a digital communication strat- egy in this day and age: it must now take on a new level of importance, transforming into a platform, or hub, from which to connect multiple accounts created on social networks. It is with increasing regularity that the home- pages of artists’ and galleries’ websites are populated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Flickr, Instagram and YouTube icons. The website of Canadian photographer Miss Pixels (misspixels.com) is exemplary of this instant link to a host of network connections. The channel Arte Creative (creative.art.tv/fr), created in Germany in 2006 with content in French and German, gives filmmakers and authors of feature films the op- portunity to broadcast their work on two high-quality mediums: the channel Souvenirs from Earth (souve- nirsfromearth.tv) - the first digital TV station dedicated to contemporary art -, and Ikono (ikono.org), a media platform displaying and broadcasting visual arts. Both platforms are broadcast on digital, the internet and on TV, Ikono having the capacity for worldwide broadcast- ing. Souvenirs from Earth, presenting works of video art, “work directly with artists, but also with galleries and in- stitutions, as well as the art school in Marseille, France,” explains Marcus Kreiss, founder of the platform. “If the students from the art school in Marseille, as well as those in Shanghai and São Paulo watch the videos simultane-
  10. 10. 18 19 ously it creates a dialogue, a community,” he continues. As for Ikono, the Berlin-based platform specialises in art, actively rejecting “all additional commentary and sound in an effort to create a space purely dedicated to a visual and emotional experience and to make it acces- sible to an international audience,” comments Elizabeth Markevitch, founder of Ikono. Launched at the end of 2013 via the operator Free, the programme includes a number of videos and feature films focusing on every period in history and all artistic practices. Through the creation of such platforms, video art has found its very own channel. THINGLINK, A FREE COLLABORATIVE TOOL TO CRE- ATE INTERACTIVE IMAGES ThingLink enables the creative editing of a photo- graph through the addition of multimedia elements. The fundamental idea behind it is the creation of inser- tion points to integrate information bubbles, links, and connections to other social networking sites includ- ing YouTube, Instagram or sounds with SoundCloud. The tool is employed by a range of online journalism sources: German design magazine Freunde von Freun- den (freundevonfreunden.com) uses ThingLink to pre- sent interviews with artists, whilst radio station France Info uses it to illustrate some of that day’s radio inter- views, illustrated through an image of the interview in progress. ThingLink takes collaboration one step further with the possibilities created through the process of editing an image. When creating a graphic, a built-in function al- lows the user to invite other people to edit it alongside them. It is even possible to allow visitors to the site to easily edit the image and freely insert multimedia addi- tions. ThingLink uses a unique URL which only needs to be shared to be used. Those receiving the image can edit it without having to subscribe to the site. The im- ages produced can also be commented upon, upload- ed to an internet site via an embedded code, or can be integrated into a Facebook page in the form of a post. Step-by-step: once connected to the account, the menu will display. The tab “Stream” is a news thread which details whether a friend has become involved in the image or if the user has been mentioned. The tab “My Channel” gives access to the image library and consultation and sharing statistics. For measuring the account’s performance, a counter details the number of subscribers and subscriptions.
  11. 11. 20 21 QUESTIONS TO ISABELLE DE MAISON ROUGE,ART CRITIC Isabelle de Maison Rouge is a professor of Art History at New York University in France. She is also a lecturer and exhibition curator and has published a number of academ- ic works, including: L’art contemporain au delà des idées reçues (Contemporary art beyond popular belief), Salut l’artiste and Picasso published by Le Cavalier Bleu; as well as 10 clefs pour s’ouvrir à l’art contemporain (10 ways to un- lock contemporary art) published by Archibooks. In 2011, Isabelle de Maison Rouge launched Art&..., an e-magazine specialising in art criticism, which can be found on Face- book through an official page and an active group of fol- lowers. Editions of Art&... are available for tablet computers. Has the internet changed the practice of art criticism with regards to the organisation of work, the writing process or the relationship with artists? Isabelle de Maison Rouge: The internet has become a mine of information, so long as the user knows how to search for it and verify the sources. Some sites and blogs are very reliable, whereas others are misleading. I have previously discovered some works online which have been reproduced in reverse or which were accompanied by incorrect captions. It pays to be vigilant on the internet. That said, the internet is an essential tool to gain a better insight into an artist, to follow their career, their news or to discover their recent works. This nature of information gathering has changed the lives of art critics. Now, every self-respecting artist and gallery communicate via a reg- ularly updated website, through online newsletters, mail invitations, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, the list goes on. The stream of information is easily achieved and, thanks to the internet, it is now possible to redis- cover traces of forgotten events, to uncover documents which could not be found elsewhere and to employ them in a much more simple and effective way than we might have done before, with books or reviews on paper. More- over, the introduction of video is truly fantastic! Do you use Facebook or are you part of a specialist social net- work? I use Facebook: I find it very practical for inviting as many people as possible to an event, to release infor- mation about the publication of a book or article and to announce a conference or seminar. Likewise, I am kept up-to-date with all the information related to my con- tacts who are also active on the network. In addition to Facebook, I am also present on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. In a more professional context, I am a member of LinkedIn and I am part of Art Girls, a French social network dedicated to women and contemporary artistic creation. Lastly, I am a member of AICA (Inter- national association of art critics) which plays an active role on the internet via its French website. What do you aim to achieve through Art&..., the website you have recently created? Art&... is an e-magazine I launched in September 2011 which lies on the boundary between a scientific re- view and a critical paper. The main idea is to open up contemporary art to increasingly large fields of reflec- tion and to encourage a dialogue between other disci- plines. Its aim is to provide multiple points of view, to dare creolization and hybridisation, to think outside the box, stray from common belief and prompt unexpected
  12. 12. 22 23 2. PROMOTE AN EVENT News of an event communicates in three stages and time periods: before, during, and after. Initially, the event is announced, with practical details and snippets of information provoking a “teasing effect”; then as the event itself unfolds information relating to it can be conveyed in real time; and finally, once the event has ended, there are the accounts, interviews and reports to upload in the aftermath, creating content which can prove to be a useful archive resource. The three main platforms for organising an event – in the Western world – are Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Given the amount of exposure it commands, the internet can at- tract the widest possible community which, regardless of the media used, needs to be enticed and animat- ed by the event and the publicity surrounding it. This process takes time – sometimes several months – to achieve and, contrary to popular opinion, is long-wind- ed work requiring a good deal of patience. The over- whelming cause of this timescale is the accumulation of “friends” (the term used by Facebook in connection with a personal account) or a network of “fans” (used for a fan page). On Facebook, it is simply a matter of clicking on “Create an event” to transmit the informa- tion to “friends” or “fans” who receive a notification giving them the necessary details (date, location, etc.) and they, in turn, can indicate if they are planning, or not planning, to attend. This function has been used to great effect by artists from the Republic of Užupis, a bohemian quarter of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital. Its inhabitants decided to create a republic, in which joy is the fundamental law. Through Facebook, this republic – many of its members artists - has found the ideal me- encounters and discoveries. Dedicated to contempo- rary art, it takes its central focus from contemporary graphic design, making it attractive and very readable. Art&... marks itself out from traditional press resources for its total lack of respect for, and subversion of, the codes of common practice, particularly the demand for urgency and news or economic requirements: in short, it is a-periodical. Operating online, the magazine ben- efits from a wide and varied distribution thanks to the dynamism of each of its partners, who in turn alert their users to the publication.
  13. 13. 24 25 dia to attract visitors to the area, as proved during the International Film Festival in Užupis, organised by the Lithuanian writer and filmmaker Thomas Tchepaitis. On Google+, one of the most recent arrivals in the so- cial-networking scene, creating an event is incredibly simple. The function “+Clique” allows for group discus- sion, making it possible to send a number of people an invitation to all manner of events and, with the option to select exactly who receives the invitation, it could be aimed at the entirety of the online community or, for instance, journalists from a select circle. Analysing the most important contacts and themes on the network, Google indexes the nature of the content shared on Google+: the more followers on a Google+ page and the more activity it records, the more listings it receives. The secret to developing a community is to allow fans to publish comments and photos. The aim of this is to encourage the “likes” and the “+1” on Google+. Once this has been achieved, the posts appear in the news streams of friends of fans, proliferating publicity. Not only does it convince fans that the latest event was a success, but it also sparks an interest in any forthcom- ing events. When posting on social networks, it is important to de- scribe a personal or professional universe, but is equal- ly advisable to avoid self-promotion. The web market- ing rule number “10-4-1” – “marketing communications are suitable for those they target” – explains the key el- ements of effective communication. Rule number one: don’t present solely your own views, but also include external content and references to similar sectors so the internet user finds the page broader and more in- teresting. Taking this rule into account, it recommends that the user posts 10 items of external content, such as an interesting article written by a blogger, 4 items of personal content and a link to an external website’s homepage. 3. DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PRESS In the past, relationships with the press have relied ex- clusively on using email to mass-mail press releases; a practice which is slowly disappearing although still wide- ly used in some areas. Younger generations have es- chewed email in favour of other methods, with only 11% of 15-20-year-olds currently using electronic messaging. The most prolific figures on the web – journalists, influen- tial bloggers and community managers – are now present on the social web and have become much more acces- sible to the everyman internet user. This new internet dy- namic affords for dual possibilities on the part of artists: it is now possible to directly contact influential figures via social platforms and, in return, for artists to keep them informed about their own work through news streams. From this basis, multimedia artist Thierry Fournier has constructed an efficient form of viral communication. In August 2011 he updated his status on Facebook an- nouncing his live participation in a programme on RFI on the subject of his project, “Fenêtre augmentée” at Centre Pompidou, Paris. The status informed the entirety of his group of “friends” on the network, amongst them jour- nalists, of the event. Over the course of the same day, a second status read: “Meet at @Futur en Seine for season 2, where I will be appearing,” accompanied by a link to
  14. 14. 26 27 the Facebook page for @Futur en Seine, the World Digital Festival in the Ile-de France. With all the information pro- vided, all Fournier’s followers needed to do was mark the date on the calendar! Twitter, an essential tool in the production and processing of information, is commonly employed by journalists in their daily professional practices. According to an investi- gation by the PR office Newswire, out of 1,500 American journalists questioned, 40% now regularly use Twitter, 33% use social networks in their information searches and 24% consider Facebook and Twitter important tools to find and contact experts. 4. ENCOURAGE INTERNET USERS TO SHARE THEIR ARTISTIC DIS- COVERIES Participate! Vote! In 2009, the Grand Prix d’Art Contem- porain Opline Prize came to life via the internet, creating waves on social networks and through its blog. OPLINE gives 50 emerging artists the opportunity to garner atten- tion through digital exposure and space on the website oplineprize.com. It is the internet user’s responsibility to decide the winner from a group of artists selected by cu- rators of international repute. In addition to a monetary prize of €4,000, the award is accompanied by an exhibi- tion at Paris’s Aréa gallery and Galerie DX in Bordeaux. In 2011, Internet users awarded the prize to Bernard Lal- lemand, in 2012 Pierre David and in 2013 Jeanne Susplu- gas. Each year one online voter is chosen at random to receive a work by the winner, worth 1,000 Euros. “Art is everywhere and we are all potential artists,” is what Instagram, since its conception in 2011, has invited us to believe. Available for purchase via the Apple Store, it proclaims to “transform everyday moments into works of art you’ll want to share with friends and family.” In the publication L’Esthétisation du monde, sociologist Gilles Lipovetsky and cultural critic Jean Serroy explain that “artistic capitalism” has created a hedonistic consumer aesthetic which is constantly searching for changes and sensations which could compensate for stress or bring new forms of pleasure. Addicted to all things “new”, mod- ern consumers are presented with an unlimited source of sensitive and surprising experiences. Online communi- ties and cultures are constructed around the collection of information and practices which display a mutual interest between members of the group, forming as a marker of its particular identity. Appropriation is now a prerequisite for any successful participation in pop culture; a phenom- enon which can be measured on social networks. Whilst the action of sharing basic information, in any form – be it an image, video or sound recording -, lies at the heart of new online community practices, the action of shar- ing a photographic image demonstrates the high point of interest in a work. Several billion images are published and shared on Facebook each month, demonstrative of its popularity. Drawing on this proliferation of the image, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York joined image sharing platform Flickr and, later, Instagram in 2013 to accumu- late and animate a community of art amateurs. The thou- sands of members signed up to the network are invited to upload photos taken during recent visits to MoMA, with a financial incentive for the users whose images are em- ployed by MoMA for commercial purposes. In France, the organisation team behind Momumenta also chose Flickr to amass a community of followers to coincide with the exhibition by Anish Kapoor at Grand Palais, Paris. The
  15. 15. 28 29 of participative work on social networks but French artist Fred Forest (born 1933), pioneer of video and media art, is an exception to the rule. He founded the Sociological Art Collective in the 1970s and the Aesthetics of Com- munication movement in the 80s and much of his work centres on the internet. His installation Flux and reflux, la caverne d’Internet - shown in Albi (Tarn, a department in southwest France) -, revisits Plato’s cave at the time of the internet. Plato’s allegorical shadows are replaced by transposed images of wandering people and their silhou- ettes, each silhouette making an individual contribution to the work. Fred Forest’s collective creation is a meta- phor for a democratic dynamic, an image-fuelled journey which throws the viewer into the midst of a mutating, in- formation-driven society. An image of synthesis, of virtual reality, an online game... Maurice Benayoun, born in 1957, received multiple hon- ours at the Ars Electronica festival for his installation World Skin (1998), an interactive photo safari serving as one of the most innovative works of virtual reality to have been created in art and available to watch on YouTube. Benayoun is artistic director and founder of CITU (Aca- demic interactive transdisciplinary creation), using social networks to support creation. In 2011, he used Facebook to create a participative work entitled Sans Armes citoy- ens (sansarmescitoyens.org): Internet users were invited to re-write the lyrics of the French national anthem and to film themselves interpreting it through karaoke. They could then find their contribution at an exhibition at Eng- hien-les-Bains (Val d’Oise) where the films were projected onto a sculpture of the Marianne. “There is the same dif- ference between an interactive work and a participative artist agreed to let his work, Leviathan, be the object of a photographic competition on the internet. The photos of the work entered into the competition had to be ac- companied by several lines of text describing an emo- tion. This nature of exposure provided the 4th edition of Monumenta with significantly improved media dynamism than in previous years. Artists can also be caught up in the craze for the propaga- tion of images. French urban artist Invader has triggered an “Invadermania” phenomenon: as soon as the artist creates one of his infamous, though illegal, inner-city mu- rals, fans from all over the world race to upload images of the work in situ to online platforms. The challenge is to be the first to capture, and upload, the image. More and more artists accept that their works are photo- graphed and that the images are often found uploaded to the web. As far as copyright is concerned, social media is wholly lacking in respect for the practice. An overriding factor in the exploitation of copyright can be attributed to Creative Commons licenses proposed by platforms in- cluding Flickr: a form of public copyright license which allows for the distribution of material normally restricted under copyright, Creative Commons licenses engender a misuse of copyright. The commercial use of graphic crea- tions is a real risk for living artists or those with intact cop- yright status. A word of warning: don’t put high-definition images online as their quality puts them at risk of being exploited. 5. CREATE A PARTICIPATIVE WORK It is rare to find an artist who has invested in the field
  16. 16. 30 31 work as there is between sculpture and architecture,” ex- plains the artist. “Sculpture is a predefined three-dimen- sional proposition which can be discovered at different angles. Architecture is a three-dimensional proposition which allows its users different experiences, giving them real autonomy. Each one gives free reign to the viewer to invent their own creativity, conceiving a new form of inter- action with the public.” Belgian photographer Damaris Risch (b. 1971) has used Facebook since 2011 to create a fictional character bear- ing her name. She – or more fittingly her personal account on Facebook – benefits from exchanges and friendship networks exclusive to a social networking system. The pages she follows, all the comments, images, videos and literary references contribute to the layout and public perception of her page, in turn constructing her persona as a comedienne, an essential facility of the platform. In Belgium, in order to take advantage of artists’ benefit on the income support system for artists, she must pre- sent herself as a comedienne. She hires a room, invites friends and becomes a performer by night. On Facebook, Damaris Risch has, herself, become a work of art: “The most astonishing thing is that my character lives outside me. When I don’t post, Internet users comment on my absence. The absence stimulates the imagination,” en- thuses the artist who is now asking herself how, and if ever, she should reveal her true identity on the internet. It is an identity that the artist has carefully sculpted over time, begging the question of whether it would be wise, or even possible, to allow it to collapse. English artist Phil Thompson (b. 1988) analyses the role of production and digital documentation in the universe of contemporary art. His works shed light on the implicit results of the visualisation of a work on the screen in rela- tion to its experience in a gallery. The artist interrogates the dichotomies between a work and its copy, between the material and the immaterial. “In modern society, the discovery of a work of art occurs most often through its appearance on the internet. The most widespread ac- cess to this nature of discovery principally takes place on social networks, notably Facebook, blogs and on Tumblr. The social function of these sites, as well as their autono- my from cultural institutions, accelerates the distribution of images at an increasingly fast pace. The consequenc- es of this spiralling trend affect our very experience of art today,” comments the artist. It remains to query whether documentary images in today’s world are examples of visually perfect documentary photography or if these im- ages now belong to a new form of original performance. In an effort to explore this dichotomy, Thompson created the video work Exhibition Trailer: Screen/Space (2013), a work which became both a trailer for the exhibition which was shared on the internet and was also incorporated into material of the exhibition itself, blurring the boundary between promotional material that is distributed freely and available forever and exhibition content which is dis- played over a fixed period of time. Whilst the trailer was integral to the exhibition’s success, the exhibition was not essential for the distribution of the trailer.
  17. 17. 32 33 limited number of images, often totally illegally. Such is the power of the social web in the country. What is your relationship with participatory art? The street inspires me: I come from a background in street art. JR is my tag name. I like people and I feed off their emotions. I have been developing the project “Inside Out” since March 2011, when I first started it in California. It is a global art project where everyone in the world can send a photo of themselves to the site insideoutproject.net and in doing so supports a cause. More than 100,000 portraits have so far been collected from participants in more than 100 countries. The inter- est continues to grow. http://web.stagram.com/n/jr_artist/ QUESTIONS TO JR, PHOTOGRAPHER Born in 1983, JR is the embodiment of the digital native: ultra-connected, politically engaged, travelling the world, his works generate feverish excitement. The photographer is one of the most cited French artists and one of the most “liked” on the web. How do you use the Web in your creative process? JR, artist: The internet plays a key role in allowing peo- ple to become involved in my work. From the virtual plat- form of the web comes an outpouring of physical ac- tions, made possible by the connections formed online. Technology evolves very quickly, allowing me to carry out collaborative projects today that would have been impossible five years ago. In its technological evolution, photography has become democratised. In my search for public involvement, I appeal to those with subscrip- tions to my website to stick up the posters advertising the projects. Data geolocation often sways my choice about where to go in the world – Kenya, Brazil, Tunisia -, and I have had more than 100,000 volunteers to date, and counting. Do you manage your own presence on social networks? My website, jr-art.net was started in 2001. I was one of the first artists to sit up and take note of the Internet. My Facebook presence goes back to 2011, Instagram 2012 and, more recently, I have opened a Twitter account. All the information and photos are my own creations. I update the pages daily; which is something that has become quite a challenge. When I had the opportunity to go to North Korea in 2012 I was able to distribute a
  18. 18. 34 35 6. SELL A WORK For photographers searching for an online gallery with international visibility, YellowKorner, the photography agency created in 2006 by French duo Alexandre de Metz and Paul-Antoine Briat, is a platform for talent spanning a range of different fields of photography. Serving as its main asset, the work on the site must be to a high artistic standard, making for a high-calibre mix of artists with photographic greats, including Dor- othea Lange, Man Ray and Jean Dieuzaide, all mak- ing appearances on the platform. Especially for Yel- lowKorner, some photographers with works on the site have given their permission for them to be reproduced in higher edition numbers, allowing the gallery to pre- sent them for purchase at a hundred Euros. Exclusive to YellowKorner, these editions are produced under the artist’s supervision by a professional laboratory of renown, numbered and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Buyers seem willing to invest in pho- tographic works online, providing that they gain suf- ficient guarantees and that the costs incurred through the process remain reasonable. Founded in 2011 and based solely on online sales, VIP Art Fair (vipartfair.com) held only two editions, the second taking place in 2012. It presented over 1,500 works, uniting 1,100 artists and 135 galleries, including David Zwirner and Marian Goodman Gallery. “The fairs calendar is quite tight and it is not always easy to find the time to fly to London, New York or Mumbai,” says Farhad Farjam, founder of the privately owned Farjam Collection in Dubai. “To be able to browse works of art at your own pace and take the time to study them with- out being rushed is a greatly appreciated resource.” Yet in reality, is it really feasible to invest in work which the buyer has never seen in the flesh? With an increas- ing number of high-definition images, the possibility to zoom in on works and detailed information on the scale of objects, the fair did what it could to blur the line be- tween digital and tangible images. VIP Art Fair was also host to a series of live performances, notably a work by Terence Koh who was shown on Thaddaeus Ropac’s virtual stand. The Editions & Multiples section was a highly prized aspect of the online fair, with a cost of 40 Euros to be linked with a gallerist. A form of e-commerce which still struggles to convince a number of sceptics, but which has the potential to take-off in the coming years, operates under the name “f-commerce”. The term was invented to describe business on Facebook. Following a study carried out by the strategy advice office Booz&Co, almost a third of Internet users adept at e-commerce would like to be able to buy goods on social networks. What’s in it for artworks? At this point in time, there are no galleries involved in f-commerce, even if some admit that Face- book has generated useful contacts. Some pioneering businesses, however, have launched into niche mar- keting: Romab, a French company editing artworks for use on mobile phone covers, chose Facebook as its primary sales channel in 2010 (facebook.com/romab. eu). A further means of generating sales figures is to exploit the potential on the social web for recommen- dation, as demonstrated by Zaploop Musique. This
  19. 19. 36 37 French platform for the distribution of musical content by independent artists on the internet allows fans to buy the music of their favourite artists via a playlist. 7. SECURE GALLERY PARTENERSHIP The reasons for securing gallery partnership are sim- ple: relations between artists and galleries have hardly changed in a decade and the role fulfilled by the gal- lerist, as both an agent and often a producer, is diver- sifying. Both parties – the artist and the gallery – be- come integral parts in a mutually beneficial partnership in which each party has an equally strong interest in the other. With greater room for autonomy, the artist needs to garner some of the credibility and financial advantages the gallery can provide. When this dynam- ic is transferred to the web, which party reaps the most rewards from an online presence? The question has in- trigued Jean-Michel Othoniel, represented by Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin. The influence held by social net- works on artists, galleries and institutions creates mu- tual stimulation and sharing between parties, charting the evolution of this nature of influence. With the internet, nomad galleries have appeared. “Physical placement is of little importance, today it is vir- tual placement which counts,” says Françoise Adams- baum, director of Galerie Keza. “We invest hundreds of Euros each trimester to be visible on the platform Art- net (artnet.fr), much like a shop in the past would have hired a salesperson.” Created in 1988, Galerie Keza in Paris is not open to the public. Collectors meet to look at the works which are taken out of storage for the oc- casion. “I understood the need for a virtual space when a dealer contacted me from China following a simple consultation of my website,” Adamsbaum continues. Like Adamsbaum, gallerist Fabienne Leclerc wanted to create a different dialogue with artists through her gallery, In Situ. In 2012, In Situ travelled to no fewer than ten fairs, “It was crazy,” says Leclerc, “I had to do something else. Three times a year we moved to a dif- ferent, extraordinary place.” In 2013, the gallery found an intimate ground-floor space in Paris, stopped the continuous programme of vernissages and embarked on a quest to find the best locations for artistic projects and to forge links with symbolic places, resulting in an entirely custom-made approach. A research network for new talent could develop in the coming years but, in the meantime, Saatchi Gallery Online serves as a precursor of its arrival. Owned by the British art dealer Charles Saatchi, Saatchi Gallery developed the Saatchi Gallery online in 2006 (saatch- ionline.com), a virtual gallery with the means for visual arts students to create a network. Frequently, Saatchi Gallery Online organises a competition named “Show- down”, from which the winner receives – other than a monetary sum – a place in the celebrated establish- ment. The aim is to help young artists searching for notoriety to promote their artistic work. Since its con- ception, the virtual gallery has evolved towards a so- cial and commercial platform which attracts more than 80,000 artists. The site offers artists the opportunity to directly sell their works and to receive a commission of 70%, an unequalled percentage in the history of the art market. In the terms and conditions, it is stipulated that the gallery takes care of payment and transport,
  20. 20. 38 39 giving the buyer the option to return the work within seven days. A new genre of business has been born from the in- ternet. Both online gallery and publishing house of 3D products, PrintaBit was launched in 2013 by three technophile entrepreneurs, Louis Gilibert, Stéphane Madoeuf and Victor Martin. The website, printabit.com, gives users the option to upload a 3D image which can be turned into a unique model, either in series format or as a one-off piece. Based in Geneva, the start-up has already garnered the support of artists, including illustrator Lean and digital artist Henk Mulder. 8. IMPLEMENT MONITORING TOOLS At any given moment, how is it possible to find out what is being said about a particular person, or a particular subject? Quite simply, by implementing an internet monitoring tool with a system of alerts, an indispensable measure in the anticipation of and re- action to content online. The tool can scan the net at regular intervals to identify any sources which might raise the alarm. Two thirds of the world’s internet searches are pro- cessed by Google, followed by Baidu, the leading Chinese search engine. l’esthétique ! Google represents 91.4% of the search engine market in France, ahead of Bing, Yahoo and Qwant, the latest edi- tion to French search engines. To compare key words and give research trends, the world leader provides a number of free services, including Google Insight and Google Trends. The former can aid with keyword search- es by mapping trends in research, providing many use- ful lessons on effective search practice. Google Trends shows how often a particular search term is entered in relation to the total search-term volume across various regions of the world. For example, Google Trends com- pares the number of searches for Jeff Koons and Daniel Buren, by country, by year. Way ahead of Buren, Koons saw his online visibility peak in 2008, a figure which was likely boosted by the sale of a version of Rabbit, his much-celebrated shining steel rabbit, and the sale of Hanging Heart, which sold for a record-breaking $23.6 million in November 2007. With pickanews.com, it is now possible to consult a press review online for free. The site is a relatively ef- fective French cross-media search engine which inter- rogates 50,000 different information sources on a daily basis. Over a period spanning several months, the mon- itoring engine uses advanced “speech to text” tech- nology to find key words taken from TV or radio news programmes. To create an effective and active form of monitoring, the search engine makes it possible for its readers to comment on and listen and react to content, categorise the most influential sources and respond to online users who cite them. An alert is activated in the form of an automatically repeated request every time a source of information is produced. Several free alert systems exist, including Talk Walker (talkwalker.com/ en/alerts) and Twilert, reserved exclusively for Facebook and Twitter. Be careful of what’s said on social networks: a keyword search on the term “beauty” gives surprising results, tending towards the cosmetic rather than the
  21. 21. 40 41 aesthetic! Conceived in 2000, the RSS flux (Really Simple Syndica- tion or Rich Site Summary) allows for the transmission of information in real time on several media simultaneously via a flux, or feed. It serves as a way for the internet to index sources which interest the user – Twitter, blogs and information sites – and which subscribe to the RSS flux in a process known as “link journalism,” a form of collaborative journalism. The publication Connaissance des Arts (connaissancedesarts.com/rss) offers the user the opportunity to subscribe to ten RSS feeds, includ- ing overviews, podcasts, contemporary art, design and photos. The feeds create a series of independent, the- matic news streams providing instant, tailored informa- tion. The articles corresponding to the RSS feed are available to read through the medium. It is advisable to use Netvibes (netvibes.com), a dashboard personalisa- tion software launched in 2005. The application works in an autonomous way, without relying on Google, is free and is not littered with publicity. Accessible on iPad, Netvibes integrates alerts, social analysis tools and the possibility of collaboration with other users. QUESTIONS TO PHILIPPE STARCK, DESIGNER Philippe Starck (b. 1949) emerged as a pioneer for a more egalitarian approach to design through his concept of “democratic design” which aimed to increase the qua- lity of objects whilst lowering their pricesin an attempt to provide the best quality to the highest number of people. He is the designer with the highest internet visibility and his news updates are received and distributed by a large community of fans. Are you sensitive to what is said about you on the web? Philippe Starck: No, no more so than what could be said on paper, or at dinner parties. What is said on the internet is only representative of a portion of the po- pulation, which could say the best, or the worst, pos- sible things. But I am happy to see this expression as a quantitative account of my naive and stubborn work. Do you see the internet as a creative tool? Under no circumstances, because creation and imagi- nation cannot be restricted as a result of information or by a creative tool which can only limit the imagination of the creator. On the other hand, constantly travelling and living quite reclusively in places which are difficult to access, the internet as a means of communication with my team or my partners is absolutely indispen- sable. My hatred of office spaces is only avoided by the fact that I can go anywhere, and especially my bed, thanks to the internet. Moreover, we mustn’t confuse the power of content and the quality of it; nor must we confuse the pipe and the liquid; nor the chain on a bike and the cyclist’s dream. Internet is a means and in no
  22. 22. 42 43 way an end. If the internet becomes an end, it would surely mean the end to our civilisation. Each human creation holds a negative and positive aspect, as is normal and natural. It is our task to be vigilant espe- cially when faced with this infinite power. Who manages your image on the internet? I assign the management of my online profile to a group of loyal collaborators who don’t manage my image, but who simply try to prevent others from defacing it. We take severe measures to crack down on imposters on social networks or business proposals which claim to be me, without any legitimacy. Your project, Think Tank, asked unemployed people to partici- pate in answering a list of questions communicated to them via email. Do you consider these email addresses as their digital identities? Without the internet, would this project be possible? Yes, I do see the email addresses as digital identities, allowing me to communicate with 230 million useful brains which, for the moment at least, have no fixed location online. Without the internet, this project would not be possible because it wouldn’t be feasible for me to go door-to-door to be able to ask the questions my- self, nor could I house 230 million carrier pigeons...! 9. CONSTRUCT AN E-REPUATION Digitally enhancing an artwork is undoubtedly the best and quickest way to secure a good reputation online. On the internet, however, it is impossible to escape the risk posed by plagiarism or damning criticism. Bad buzz can be triggered by an ill-intentioned article written by a critic or by an anonymous comment taken from a stream of discussion. Asking for the suppression of defama- tory text is always a possibility, but the request is not always successful: defined as “offensive expression”, the injunction only lasts for three months. It is therefore important to know how to react in good time to avoid all indelible and detrimental traces on the web. An essen- tial action in the development of an e-reputation is the attempt to assign a legal status to digital oversight. Ne- gotiation is currently taking place with Google to ensure that personal data is held by search engines for a maxi- mum of a year, whilst most European agencies advocate that data is held for no more than six months. Most of the data held by Google is never totally removed from the search engine, but it is possible to employ power- ful “fig leaves”, put in place by specialist agencies, or “cleaners.” Their service cannot delete data – detrimen- tal comments included – but instead creates recent, well-referenced and “clean” content in a practice known as “landfill” or “drowning.” The aim of the practice is to push back undesirable information to the second or third pages of a Google search result, where they will remain mostly ignored by internet users. Beware of fake “official” Facebook pages and fake Twit- ter accounts! The Facebook page for the artist Sophie Calle has for a long time been activated by a mysterious
  23. 23. 44 45 community manager who, in recent times, has revealed their identity as Claire Duchesne, “a fan of Sophie Calle.” Duchesne has been the official administrator for the page since 2013, following an agreement with the artist and her gallerist, Emmanuel Perrotin. Since taking over the management of the page, the posts have increased in regularity and the editorial tone has become more per- sonal. The inclusion of interviews with the artist, reports from Tokyo and an encounter with a fan demonstrate a rapidly growing fan-base. “When I see that a photo has been shared more than a thousand times, I am genuinely pleased for the artist and for the fans,” says Claire Duch- esne, a Geneva-based illustrator who also animates the online communities of English photographer Martin Parr and the American artist Cindy Sherman. Sophie Calle and Cindy Sherman share a number of fans, many of whom are female. “In no way do I feel like an agent for the three artists whose Facebook pages I administrate, but more like a voluntary assistant.” Despite the success Claire Duchesne has had managing artists’ fan pages, collaboration between artist, gallerist and community manager does not always follow such a steady course. Painter and writer Fabienne Verdier en- countered significant problems when she tried to con- tact the administrator of the Facebook page operating under her name; a great shame for an artist who other- wise benefits from exceptional visibility on the web. A word of advice: make the creation of a fan page a pri- ority, before someone else does. How can an artist es- cape identity theft? Slovenian artist Damien Hirst surfs the wave of success of his British namesake who, for his part, is almost totally absent from Twitter: @Dami- enHirst has fewer than ten tweets and is following even fewer accounts, but nonetheless has almost 4,000 fol- lowers. On his account, @hirstdamien, the Slovenian artist clearly states that he is not the British artist, whom many might confuse him with. Regardless of this admis- sion, Hirst’s account still has almost 10,000 followers! Like Hirst, the Twitter accounts of Gilles Barbier and Re- becca Horn can also be attributed to their namesakes. Whilst not illegal practice, what can be done to prevent Twitter-squatting? In a case of identity theft, is suffices to write to the Twitter head office in the United States to ask for an account to be deleted, or to ask that the certi- fier verify the account.
  24. 24. 46 47 A GUIDE TO CHEATING ON SOCIAL NETWORKS “Numbers have become essential tools in forging an e-reputation,” explains Arthur Kannas, co-founder of communication agency Heaven and author of A Guide to Cheating on Social Networks, available online via the file-sharing platform Slideshare. In 2012, following a web marketing operation, the agency carried out a study on the different techniques available to – seem- ingly – boost user numbers and released the details of a number of financial means through which this can be achieved, as detailed below: . 1,000 followers on Pinterest for $199 . 2,500 votes on Google+ for $299 . 2,000 followers on Instagram for $199 . 500 subscribers on YouTube for $25 . 1,000 likes on Facebook photos for $39 . 10,000 Fans/Likes on Facebook for $179 . 1,000 followers on SoundCloud for $17 . 1 million YouTube views for $5,495 . 50,000 followers on Twitter $149 The path to internet popularity, previously only ac- cessible via Facebook and Twitter, has spread to an entirely new group of networks: “likes” have risen in their thousands on Google+, Instagram and Pinterest; “views” are sold for YouTube, Dailymotion and Vimeo; and “listens” are available to boost the visibility of ac- counts on SoundCloud. Through this new range of options, businesses and private individuals seeking more online credibility can raise their visibility in just a few clicks (and a not insignificant cash investment). Kannas – the author of the guide to cheating on so- cial networks – reasserts the importance of virality. He tells French newspaper Le Monde: “Those who publish content naively believe that if amusing or interesting content is published on a promotional page, visitors will flock to it as if by magic. It isn’t true. To attract people’s attention, we must prime the pump, one way or another.” One of the most failsafe ways to guarantee virality is to spend a minimum of a million Euros on a Facebook advertising campaign, as soon as the page is launched. The Facebook algorithm is a constantly evolving process, affording the public an essential role. False friends, false fans, false followers… The practice is illegal, but still goes unpunished. In spite of this, a 2005 European directive condemned the creation of fake profiles “falsely presenting oneself as a consum- er” as “misleading commercial practice.” TIME TO RECONSIDER THE RELIABILITY OF INTER- NET SOURCES The rise of the internet has totally subverted our ap- proach to investigation and our relationship with infor- mation. Networks now support a variety of platforms which serve to inform, manipulate or even destabilise the user’s preconceived ideas. The most disciplined users on social networks are well-informed and well- practiced in the art of managing cyber attacks, whilst the most naive pay a high price for the publication of personal details.
  25. 25. 48 49 An essential consideration in the use of online informa- tion is the verification of its authenticity. In March 2009, a 22-year-old Irish student, Shane Fitzgerald, decided to test the web: he added a false citation to the Wikipe- dia page of French composer Maurice Jarre shortly af- ter his death. The following phrases were therefore at- tributed to being the words of the artist: “One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head, that only I can hear.” In the process of finding material to use in Jarre’s obituary, journalists from The Guardian and The Independent were tricked by the citation and used it, distributing the incorrect information around the world. Shane Fitzgerald claimed responsibility and the news- papers corrected their error. (Source: L’information et le renseignement sur Internet by Laurence Ifrah, PUF.) Created in 2000, the site hoaxbuster.com is a commu- nity site which allows for the verification of information circulating on the web. The concept – which serves as a very effective way of denouncing information hoaxes and false rumours – was founded by three figures, one of whom, Guillaume Brossard, explains, “If I say it’s a hoax, no one believes me. On the other hand, if the website says it’s a hoax it is more believable and will be enough to stop it spreading.” Through Hoaxbuster, us- ers can perform a search for misinformation on forums, and any information Hoaxbuster cannot verify as fact is provisionally classed as “under analysis.” 10. AIM AT AN INTERNATIONAL TARGET Artists from the Caribbean have benefitted from virtual visibility since the website Uprising Art (uprising-art.com) was created in 2011.The site’s founder, Claire Richer, ex- plains: “Uprising Art allows the viewer to acquire works by recognised or emerging artists, and supports the development of the Caribbean art market through the power of the web.” The barriers preventing global artis- tic visibility are no longer geographic, but linguistic, cul- tural, technical and political. The internet is a space of coexistence for a plethora of languages, including Latin, Cyrillic, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. To make a name for himself in China, visual artist Maurice Benayoun opt- ed for the pseudonym Mo Ben, a name which has stuck since the 1990s and symbolises “doesn’t run away” in Chinese. This cultural synchronicity is not as vital in Ja- pan, where English is often used in artistic circles, but it is nonetheless still advisable to phonetically translate an internet name into Katakana for the wider public. Internationally, the key to success is to utilise the most influential source in any given country. Concerning web- sites, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, it is advis- able to create country-specific versions (see the practi- cal guide). “With the internet, we don’t need to be present to com- municate. I spent the day discussing with people at home [...]. The police were surprised, they didn’t expect to have such a profound echo,” wrote Ai Weiwei on Twit- ter (@aiww) when he was put under house arrest in 2010 whilst his studio was demolished by the Chinese au- thorities. The dissident artist became active in protest-
  26. 26. 50 51 ing against the government in 2009 when he established a list of 2,735 schoolchildren who died in the Sichuan earthquake on 12 May 2008 and called for an internet boycott on 1 June to protest against official censure and the spy software imposed by the Chinese political re- gime. “Fuck off!” he courageously announced, uniting actions and words by posting a photograph of himself pointing a finger at Tiananmen Square in disdainful com- memoration of 20 years since the student revolt. Follow- ing the post, the artist’s blog was immediately closed down. In addition to China, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Cuba continue to censor access to data and informa- tion, disallowing certain sites. Contrary to popular belief, the internet is regulated by national laws and is subject to private international law which determines the coun- try where the litigation should be judged and where the law should apply. China has found its own way to monopolise the social network platform in the face of heavy censorship of Fa- cebook, Twitter and YouTube, a phenomenon known as “The Great Firewall of China.” It has witnessed the crea- tion of several 100%-Chinese social networking platforms which allow for instant messaging, music and online re- search, namely Baidu, which holds 80% of the search en- gine market in China. There is a noticeable difference in trends between Chinese and American uses of social me- dia: 44% of Chinese internet users produce a blog, com- pared to 20% of American users. According to a study by McKinsey, 95% hold an account on at least one social network compared to 67% of Americans; 80% of users are aged between 10 and 40; and only 38% of Chinese users appear under their real name on social media. The main Chinese social networks are QZone (712 mil- lion), Tencent Weibo (507 million) and Sina Weibo (500 million), Weibo translating as microblogging in Chinese. A study of the ten main Chinese social networks reveals three distinct categories: those similar to Twitter; those similar to Facebook; and finally those which compare to instant messaging services, including WhatsApp. For Twitter equivalents, Tencent Weibo and Sina Weibo are the main platforms in China. Whilst Tencent Weibo has more users, Sina Weibo dominates the market. Four of the ten most-used social networks in China are more- or-less clones of Facebook: namely QZone, Tencent’s Pengyou (259 million), Renren (172 million) and Kaixin 001 (113 million). All these sites concentrate on the shar- ing of social information, photo albums and games but, whilst very popular when first created, they are now rel- egated to second place on the social networking-scene, as microblogging platforms take hold. Additionally, the mobile application WeChat (Weixin in Chinese), creat- ed by the social networking giant Tencent, is used by around 300 million users inside, and 50 million outside, China. Not only is WeChat an instant messaging appli- cation, it also serves as a personal space like Instagram. A mapping of Chinese media is the subject of a book published annually by the society PRNewswire, leader in media and production research and the international production of press releases.
  27. 27. 52 53 ORLAN:VISUAL ARTIST AND WINNER OF THE GRAND PRIX DE L’E- RÉPUTATION 2013 Visual artist ORLAN, recognisable by her shock of black and white hair and two sparkling implants on her tem- ples, was announced as the most popular visual artist on the web in 2013 by the Grand Prix de l’e-réputation. The prize also rewarded a designer – Philippe Starck – and photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. “I can see my notoriety in the street, and I have had the pleasure to discover it on the internet, thanks to your prize,” said the artist on the Huffington Post website. ORLAN has been engaged in the creation of sensual art since 1992: a curious, militant, free spirit, she is an in- ternationally-recognised French artist who has repeat- edly demonstrated a grasp of technology and uses it to bolster her artistic practice. “This prize for e-reputation confirms a growing interest from students around the world for my work on hybridisation. The traffic on my site orlan.net has been consistently rising for more than four years,” explains the artist in response to a study carried out by the research institute Linkfluence. The study used its own software Radarly to scan some 130 million sources on the web over the course of one year, which found ORLAN leading around a hundred French visual artists – or those living in France – in the most- mentioned names on the net with regards to their pop- ularity and artistic presence. “Many people question the status of the body through social, political and reli- gious pressures,” comments the artist, “which become installed in people’s bodies and heads.” ORLAN’s on- line visibility spans the web, gleaned from sites includ- ing the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Lessines, Belgium; Nuit Blanche and Musée d’Orsay in Paris; and there are also web-wide reverberations of the legal action the artist took against Lady Gaga for plagiary. “Lady Gaga profited from my work without citing it. It is really harmful for her fans, my fans and for me.” The message “I love you! A loyal French fan, Sarah,” appears on the timeline on ORLAN’s official Facebook page. From crossing boundaries to opening new trains of thought, creating crossovers to subvert traditional stereotypes of beauty, ORLAN dares all in her work. She became globally recognised in 1977 for selling kisses at FIAC and has not ceased to shock: in the 90s she posed prying questions on the body through sur- gical performances broadcast via satellite at Centre Pompidou, Centre McLuhan in Toronto and in her New York Gallery Sandra Gering. She pushed the limits of art further in 2008, exploring the modern taboo subject of stem cell research and biotechnologies in the instal- lation Le Manteau d’Arlequin. “I was one of the first artists to explore the digital field through the intermediary of Minitel (considered to be one of the world’s most successful pre-World Wide Web online services), or to create my works with the internet and to continue to show its infinite possibilities through my creation,” says the artist. Spokeswoman for female artists everywhere, her work The Origin of War (1989) made society blush, overcome by prudish- ness. Of the “100 masterpieces of the 20th century” as classified by Centre Pompidou in 2010, only six are the work of female artists and, amongst these six, only
  28. 28. 54 55 two are alive today: Annette Messager and ORLAN. “Women very rarely have big monographs, generous production budgets, big exhibitions in the most popu- lar institutions or public commissions,” comments OR- LAN. She points out that, whilst the situation for wom- en artists had seen some improvement, it is witnessing a return to less beneficial times. At the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts in Paris-Cergy where she teaches, and where the classes comprise around 75% wom- en, ORLAN encourages her female students to make themselves stand out. The message comes from a real pioneer of personal branding: a social web-specific ac- tivity in which it is crucial to understand the manage- ment of a personal label. www.ORLAN.net
  29. 29. 56 57 Facebook Qzone Odnoklassniki V Kontakte Cloob Zing Cartography Global social networks in 2013 Sources: Google Trends for Websites/Alexa
  30. 30. 58 59 QUESTIONS TO MAGDA DANYSZ, GALLERIST In 2010, gallery owner Magda Danysz – having occupied a space in the Marais, Paris, since 1999 – inaugurated a new 1000m2-space in Shanghai with an exhibition of graffiti by JonOne. In addition to JonOne, Magda Danysz is also committed to representing a variety of other names, in- cluding Miss Van, Obey and Erwin Olaf. Serving as a plat- form for exchange on the Chinese art scene and remain- ing loyal to its founder’s desire to promote new media, the gallery organises numerous events linked to video art in China. How have you responded to the culture and the use of the Chi- nese web? Magda Danysz: The use of the Web is intensive in China and Chinese social networks have experienced spiral- ling development in the past few years. In Shanghai, lots of information exchanges are carried out through social networks in a light – but nevertheless constant – way, particularly amongst a young generation. To a certain extent, chat, blogs and networks have replaced newspapers for this young generation. The Chinese web plays an increasingly central role in new advances in mobile phone technology, notably with the ability to ac- cess the internet and send emails on the Chinese Black- berry, a relatively recent asset. This new generation is both enthusiastic about new products and evolves to accommodate a range of tools which are themselves changing at an exceptional speed. Yet this exponential growth has caused its own problems: with the explosion of new platforms in Shanghai there has been a reduction in the number of stakeholders for each platform. It is dif- ficult to justify investment in just one of the many social networking sites available, when they all seem essential. Shepard Fairey and JR are both present on Facebook and they both have internet sites. Are the artists you represent autono- mous in their communication on the net? Is the role of a gallerist today to make their artists visible on social networks? A gallerist’s role as I know it is cemented in team work. Communication on the part of the artist and on the part of the gallery has different energies and aims, allowing them to complement each other perfectly. Ultimately, the artist’s career and their work are what matter. In my view, the most important thing is cooperation, with everyone working in tandem to achieve these aims. Internet vis- ibility cannot rely on just one source; the most important thing is to achieve a synchronisation between all the dif- ferent sources on the internet. In answer to your question, the gallerist can provide the artist with an e-reputation if they work well, much like a reputation in the real world. What do you gain from being present on Facebook? Today, people who follow an artist or the work of a gal- lery want to be up-to-date with all the advances, events or news which takes place and in real time. Not all infor- mation is published via the internet, as a lot of it is more institutional in presentation. Social networks, therefore, are an ideal way to respond to demands from clients in an easy and continuous way. But make no mistake: to create a real dialogue with fans is lengthy work which, in the worst cases, can be negatively perceived after a great effort has been poured into it. I have always strived for the widest possible accessibility in contemporary art, a dynamic which generates a more intimate relationship between the public and artists; something I consider very important.
  31. 31. 60 61 CHAPTER 2: CHOOSE THE MOST SUITABLE FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA Social media can be classified as internet sites or ap- plications which encourage individuals to collaborate, create and modify content and allow it to evolve. Tech- nologies which support social media include the RSS flux, blogs, wikis, discussion forums and virtual worlds, making social networks a comparatively tiny part of so- cial media as a whole. It is an innate human need to belong to a group, creating a phenomenon called “trib- al marketing”, a practice based upon a pattern in the development of conversational and social interactions between internet users. There are five types of virtual community in existence: 1. Interests: demonstrated by a passion for, say, Street Art. 2. Actions: focussed around ideals or strongly-held beliefs, like ecology or female artists. 3. Places: geolocation is an important dimension in the creation of online communities. 4. Practical: uniting artists who use the same materials and/or techniques; Digital art, for example. 5. Circum- stantial: also known as “ephemeral”, this is the most powerful form of community, working to defend rights, support the election of a global personality in art or encourage their eviction. The benefits of the social web are not limited to its ca- pacity to attract an audience: it can transform profes- sional practice through a modification of the working process, providing new skills. What is a social net- work? What is it all about? How can a work be valued in the context of an online public debate? If Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), avid supporter of the work of Delacroix, had lived in the 20th century, would he have blogged his poems, tweeted his verses, posted his criticisms? As for Pablo Picasso, would he have fierce- ly hated the Web, or would he have become hooked on his e-reputation? On its website, Club Innovation & Culture (club-innova- tion-culture.fr) publishes the global barometer for the social sharing of museum-related content. An example of a post with a lot of “likes” can be attributed to the Musée du Louvre, which commented: “The nymph Sal- macis beautifies herself. A light wash with water during this #dayofclosure,” and is accompanied by around ten photos. The hashtag #dayofclosure (#jourdefermeture) is recognised throughout the cultural sector and indi- cates that the post gives information about behind- the-scenes goings-on at the museum. When responding to a search request, Google assesses the user’s e-reputation to give adequate weight to the links presented. When posting content, a Facebook or Twitter user is given a “quality” score processed by a Google algorithm in a practice called “social research”. Before posting on a social network, it is necessary to take into account the parameters and restrictions in place. Whilst it is difficult to say what artists should do, it is advisable not to let anyone else speak in the user’s place, on any occasion. An increased internet presence is not necessarily the best way to boost an e-reputation and could even harm the one already achieved: “Twitter + Facebook + YouTube ≠ social me- dia strategy.” A Twitter account is not a series of radio passages, an official Facebook page is not the equiva-
  32. 32. 62 63 lent of an advert in the underground, and a YouTube video is nothing like a spot on primetime TV. They each have their assets and their downsides. Nevertheless, it is better to be present and active on one form of social media than to be absent from them all, or to have im- perfect profiles on three at the same time. A round-up of the main social media platforms: 1.FACEBOOK:THE OFFICIAL PLATFORMTO COMPLEMENTAWEBSITE on : prévoir un budget minimum de 1000 euros réservé à l’ouverture de la page Facebook. Et, puis, il n’y a pas que Facebook dans la vie ! De nombreuses autres plate- formes deviennent extrêmement populaires comme Sina Weibo en Chine, ou dans certains secteurs comme Pinterest dans la Mode. Pourquoi Instagram, Line ou SnapChat explosent ? Car ce sont des espaces de lib- erté non encore fagotés par les marketers. Why sign up to a Facebook account? In an address to his clients, Marc Zuckerberg, founder of the social networking platform, reasons: “We will help your brand to become part of daily conversation.” Should an art- ist consider themselves to be a brand? “Of course not!” says Jean-Michel Othoniel. And yet, it cannot be ignored that Picasso is now the name given to a certain model of car. Publicity on Facebook relies on the economy of recommendation: when reading an article on theguard- ian.com, a Facebook text box displays the photos of some Facebook friends who have also read that source, or who have used the online resource in the past. This nature of information sharing is an indication of the pos- sibilities created through the interconnection of data. Facebook has modified its internal search engine, mean- ing that it no longer takes into account just the number of “likes” on a page as a direct indication of its popular- ity, but analyses the results of the “like” function and its impact on online content. Results, which were previ- ously obtained via backlinks - incoming links to a web- site or web page -, are now gleaned from the number of positive responses by users of the network. This change creates the dynamic that, to be visible on Facebook, it is essential to regularly update a profile. Some artists consider this task too time-consuming and as a result they give their assistants – or sometimes fans – the re- sponsibility of maintaining the account. Street artist and photographer JR is just one of the artists who has cho- sen to trust another with his Facebook page, leaving it under the management of Marc, a member of his dream team. JR’s Instagram account, however, is exclusively edited by the artist, although the two accounts often in- terlink. In the space of just one hour on Facebook, more than 500 people liked a photograph that JR posted via Instagram, serving as an excellent indication of the art- ist’s popularity. Often referred to as an “urban activist” who sticks giant portraits to roads, buildings and roofs across the globe, JR was born in 1983. He became widely recognised following his film Women are Heroes (2011), in which he travels to Brazil, India, Kenya and the Cambodia. The photographs document the women the artist met over the course of his project, each one repre- sentative of a fierce matriarchal system thrown into peril by housing giants who threaten eviction. Blown up to an immense scale and displayed on build- ings throughout the town, the images were incredibly
  33. 33. 64 65 emotive. In 2013, with a total of 150,000 fans on Face- book, JR was the most “liked” artist in France. He over- took German artist Gerhard Richter – the world’s most expensive living artist – who had a meagre 20,000 in comparison. According to the Oxford Internet Survey, the average Facebook user spends around 70 hours a year on the social network and, according to a study carried out by Nielsen Mobile, people are spending an increasing amount of time on their mobile phones. During a retro- spective of his work at Lyon’s Musée d’Art Contempo- rain in 2010 entitled “Strip-tease Intégral”, artists Ben Vautier took part in a community-based mobile phone project. The museum created an iPhone app and an in- formation stream populated by mini-interviews of the artist, it also invited fans of the museum’s Facebook page to put a portrait of Ben as their profile picture and gave them the opportunity to choose one of his numer- ous “thoughts for the day” to use to update their status. Additionally, a dictionary of Ben’s words was available for download via Bluetooth as soon as the visitor had crossed the threshold to the museum. The concepts of word, thought, the slogan and writing are four pillars of Ben’s artistic exploration, which situates itself in the Fluxus movement and can be likened to Lettrism. Curi- ous and playful by nature, it should come as no shock that the artist was ready to dive head first into the game of online communication. Engineered by a complex and secret algorithm, Face- book only displays page content to 16% of viewers it analyses as most suitable to receive the information. The website Socialbakers, the European leader in social network analysis, has performed analyses on Facebook interactions, with results showing that, for content to be visible to fans, and friends of fans, publishers must in- vest significant sums into improving its visibility. Each publication, text or image, can be boosted by a mon- etary sum which, depending on its value, will determine how many people are exposed to the content. Depend- ing on the payment option chosen, the content can reach increasingly wide audiences: fans, friends of fans, etc. Some options even allow for content to be streamed to users not yet subscribed to the fan page, as it appears in the news stream accompanied by the caption: “X and Y like...” to demonstrate a possible mutual interest amongst Facebook friends. “As far as a public organ- ism, it is out of the question that I would give even the smallest centime to Facebook!” comments, somewhat rebelliously, Benjamin Benita, community manager at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and at the Palace of Discovery in Paris. When presented with a publicity budget the manager is obliged to use a portion of it for Facebook. It is advisable to set aside a minimum budget for Facebook of 1,000 Euros, an amount that will get the page up-and-running as soon as it has been created. That said: Facebook is not the only platform available! Several platforms – Sina Weibo in China, or Pinterest in fashion circles –, have become incredibly popular. Why do Instagram, Line or Snapchat explode? Because they are free spaces not yet covered by marketers.
  34. 34. 66 67 also to moderate inappropriate messages which can, occasionally, become interspersed with the comments. Have you asked the artists’ permission to administer their pages, and are you in regular contact with them? I administer these pages on my own initiative and I don’t have contact with all the photographers. Some of them send me information on their projects or events which concern them. Like, for instance, Martin Parr, who regularly invites me to his vernissages or certain shootings. I am in direct and amiable contact with him and he even visited my town, Geneva. Finding some images of our journey in one of his exhibitions really moved me. For Sophie Calle, I have regular exchanges with galleries and editors and I have also received de- dications in some of her books. As for Cindy Sherman, I had the opportunity to meet her at a vernissage of one of her exhibitions in New York in 2004, but I have had no contact with neither her, nor with her gallerists. I am not sure that she knows there is a Facebook page dedicated to her. Do you think you contribute to the artist’s visibility on the net? I don’t consider myself to be an “agent”, but more like a voluntary assistant. I do my best so that their e-reputa- tion is worthy of their talent, whilst knowing my place. I like and I assert the principle of exchange and sharing. For young emerging artists, I go further in their promo- tion on Facebook because they obviously don’t have the same visibility. Now, galleries contact me directly to share information concerning the artists they represent. QUESTIONS FOR CLAIRE DUCHESNE, ADMINISTRATOR OF AR- TISTS’ FACEBOOK PAGES Based in Geneva, Claire Duchesne has made a career as an illustrator and is passionate about photography within the boundaries of contemporary art. Since 2008, Duchesne has administered the Facebook pages of several contem- porary photographers: French photographer Sophie Calle; Martin Parr (British); and Cindy Sherman (American), as well as managing the fan pages of emerging artists, inclu- ding Laurent Askienazy and Nicolas Lieber. Why did you choose to animate photographers’ Facebook fan pages? Claire Duchesne: I am passionate about contemporary art, photography in particular. When Facebook made it possible to create “fan” pages in 2008, I immediately thought about creating them for my favourite artists, totally voluntarily and with respect for their work. Very quickly, I realised that quite a lot of fans had signed up to my page. So, I “fed” them with news. It’s a playful activity. What actions do you take? In order to maintain a permanent presence on the network, I update the pages one day each week with any recent news, exhibitions, quotes or videos. The content varies so as to appeal to different types of fans. I also promote photos of the photographers’ old work. The aim is to create an exchange with the whole of the community, almost 80,000 fans for Sophie Calle, 50,000 for Martin Parr and 40,000 for Cindy Sherman. When I see that a photo has been shared more than a thousand times by the fans, I am happy for the artist. My role is

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