As a young artist in the technological age, I have been aware of the vast opportunities that exist for communication and networking online, but have seldom come across viable avenues that seemed trustworthy enough to hand over my identity and art to. I spent a lot of time trying to find shortcuts like using Facebook as a gallery or putting up simple websites that would link to other media supporting sites that I could upload to. I often found it hard to manage or generate interest through my own personal connections. But, that was a couple years ago, and in those few years, big steps have been taken in the online community building process and philosophy. Now we have these sites for all sorts of media hosting that allow us to claim our credit and even sell our own and buy other artists work in order to create support in the specified community. It has taken the artist and put them in the promotional driver seat. With the right subscriptions and the creative knowledge on how to effectively capitalize on the provided networking, an artist can make an international impact from his own garage studio. Otherwise, a famous collector browsing these online galleries may see your piece and seek you for more, or feature you in an exhibit. The possibilities have intensified, but the need for ambition has not diminished.
Sites like Reverbnation.com allow musicians to showcase their own music on a social networking interface. This allows for comments, sharing, referrals, local rankings, view tracking and statistical analysis of site traffic. The site also has programs for gig booking and concert promotions. It allows users to also just be listeners and partake in the feedback for musicians through likes, comments and clicking a button to become a “fan”. Artists can also sell merchandise and music files directly through the website and their personalized profile.
The other Site geared towards an up rise of aspiring artists around the world is Saatchi Art. This site was based on a contemporary gallery out of London. It became an online meeting place for artist alike all around the world. It is very similar to reverb in that it allows personalized profiles, biographies, and online visual promotion of your work. It is a selling platform and attempts to connect artist on a commercial level to collectors and the public. It also shows effort in connecting artists with each other and allowing for a space of mass creative fondue, a melting pot of creativity and inspiring visuals. I strongly believe that every time I have the opportunity to experience and appreciate the art of another individual, I grow myself as an artist and as a person. The more that we use each others art to inspire individual development, the more we can be connected.
I think about the past and how artist faced such different obstacles in different eras. But it is clear that regardless of those great obstacles, art has always found its way into a relevant and powerful part of the human awareness. Art has prevailed even with the lack of any social structure and support; I can only imagine how these new technological slingshots can impact the overall strength of artistic movement especially on a global scale. Art is becoming a new form of mass communication. Now that something can go viral, affecting the world within hours, art is now an attention-grabbing tool used more and more in commercial media. I think that where possibility lies, creative people will seek new paths to success. There is a need to be unique that lingers in the ambitions of many modern artists of all forms. The act of art itself is no longer as rare as it once was, the value is no longer isolated t the existence of the art, but mores so to its ability to have a real world impact. In other words the creative market is saturated and artists want to be relevant without seeming like a color copy or imitation of another individuals artistic perspective.
I think that these sights allow for an incredible jump on the market, it may seem like a lottery of some kind, but even sites like wordpress promote similar aspects of community. When connections are made through common interest people are more willing to listen and learn. The online communities are growing and becoming more and more relevant as markets begin to realize the need for visual and emotional stimulus when connecting the public’s attention to their product, brand, or service.
At the end of it all we have a technological meeting place for like-minded people, seeking to share something original, and that meeting place itself thus creates something organic in nature, a community. This community is no neighborhood, but rather an equalized council of creatives, working to keep the artistic wheel turning by supporting each other and what they do within a community infrastructure based on the web. How do you see this further changing the general publics relationship with art and its place in our society?