Oct 22, 2019

Visual Overload: Staying Relevant in a Social Media Age

As a young aspiring artist how does one keep pace and stay relevant in a culture saturated in visual imagery?  

    With the impacts of social media only beginning to set in and be understood, how can an individual and their work rise above and have a lasting impact?  

    Does one take a nihilistic approach and simply drop out of the rat race entirely or do they double down with their already taxed efforts?

    The dissemination of information continues to increase at a rate that is dizzying and threatens to alter the framework of which we analyze information.  Is it possible that are very brains are being rewired to be able to focus for shorter and shorter time frames but yet take in more and more information on a more superficial level?  What ramifications does this have for our ability to understand and conceptualize more complex ideas?  

    This is an interesting phenomenon to note since much of the current art world revolves around very lofty, conceptual pieces that require viewers to linger and sit with the art.  This has also extended into most art schools, especially graduate programs.  There is a heavy emphasis on content and much less on the visual than most people would assume.  When the rest of the world seems to be speeding faster and faster in the opposite direction it’s a nice change of pace.  One of the problems inherent here is that gallery space is such a limited commodity while the internet on the other hand and all its various outcroppings, offer a chance to show the world your work.  

    This is at the heart of the issue, do you as an artist do the work strictly for galleries which tend to want a certain, very specific kind of work or do you create art that is much more kitchey, eye candy.  

    After giving it much thought I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the ways that art has been successful in the past is to offer a succinct social commentary or analysis of the current technological landscape.  So instead of whining about the current issue of staying relevant maybe simply making a piece of art addressing the very topic of relevance will take care of itself.

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