Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Diamonds in the Glut

Visual artists, poets, and musicians are releasing free content online faster than ever before. There is an athleticism to these aesthetic outpourings...Athletic aesthetics are a by-product of art's new mediated environment, wherein creators must compete for online attention in the midst of an overwhelming amount of information. Artists using social media have transformed the notion of a "work" from a series of isolated projects to a constant broadcast of one's artistic identity as a recognizable, unique brand. That is, what the artist once accomplished by making commodities that could stand independently from them is now accomplished through their ongoing self-commodification.

Facing dim employment prospects and precarious conditions...such practitioners aggressively seek to exercise clout in the online attention economy through over production...With constant broadcast as the goal, editing oneself becomes a waste of resources...Self-editing is now outsourced to the audience, who carefully pick over the barrage of content with unprecedented zeal...The opportunity cost of not releasing work quickly rises as audiences become less discriminatory and more participatory. Thus aesthletes rationally adopt a lottery-like gambit of releasing as much work as possible: The more they release, the more likely one will become a hit. And even less successful posts serve to strengthen the bond between artist and audience, giving each a chance to reinforce the existence of the other.

-     Brad Troemel   Jogging