Online Identity (Part 3): Web 2.0 – An Ideal Environment for Online Artists

We should never underestimate the power of art. Through the history, art have always been very closely intertwined with current trends and events in society. Now in the digital era and the time of what’s called Web 2.0 there are new trends and tendencies. The power in the art industry has shifted from powerful art personas to masses and consumers are producers at the same time.  It has opened new opportunities for artist of different genres and directions that were never officially appreciated before.

Newly emerged trend within art on the internet in Web 2.0 era is emergence of so called “Pro-consumers”, it happens when a single person becomes consumer and producer at the same time. Flickr can be seen as an example, I register to use the service and I am also consumer of the service provided by the site and in return I upload my product- artworks or images displaying my photo editing or photography skills.

My Instagram collage

Another new tendency that is brought on by Web 2.0 in online arts is that the largest proportion of innovations comes from amateur artists. Professional and well established artists no longer rule the world of art; they might set the trend or give a starting point to new ideas. However, all the progressive and innovative ideas come from the amateur pool of submitted material, selected and voted for by their peers.

The mentioned above development is leading society to development of ‘Ochlocracy ‘. Definition of Ochlocracy in the dictionary is “governed by the masses”. Meaning now society with the means of tagging, liking and commenting chooses trends, favorite artists and popular trends in art.  Now society is deciding what is in fashion, not the professional artists who want to promote their brand or product. This collective intelligence acts like a filter for these enormous amounts of information floating on the internet. This is just like natural selection just on the internet. Also things like tagging, re-tweeting help organize the content on the web, to provide users with more convenient search.

Behance Network is an online portfolio platform for creative professionals to showcase and discover creative works across multiple industries including photography, graphic design, illustration, and fashion.The network is an ideal environment for artists to showcase their talents with the interest level measured by number of appreciation, views and discussions. Opportunities are huge by engaging with the network: finding out the trends in art, teaming up with other professional to create collaborative works, improving creative career…

I reckon that the Web 2.0 encourages differences, variety and diversity rather than homogeneity.  It comes from the ability of all kinds of people freely expressing their opinion and making their own choices regarding what they consider art. All variations or modifications are appreciated and valued within internet world. These days difference is good, newness is better, people come out and show their talents because these days it is actually appreciated and we have a privilege to enjoy some amazing arts.

Along with positive change brought on by Web 2.0 that enabled unique and rapid development of art. This became possible through artists being able to showcase their works and talent freely, however, this lead to enormous amounts of information circulating online.  Every single piece of artwork comes from the artist’s soul; it showcases their personality and life experience.  And we’ve come to experience “the big brother phenomena” where some people provide a lot of irrelevant personal information. In contrast there are people who show unhealthy interest and fascination with other people’s insights into their private lives.

So in the end, I would say that the opportunities provided by Web 2.0 have brought tremendous change on the development of art in general and art on the internet in particular. The change has been mostly positive despite some minor shortcomings like “big brother effect”, when internet users upload irrelevant personal information. Except that, great number of artists got to showcase their talent and their works, and every single difference is appreciated, all the styles and directions in art matter.

References

Prada, J 2009, Web 2.0 as a new context for artistic practices, The Fibreculture Journal, retrieved from <http://fourteen.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-098-web-2-0-as-a-new-context-for-artistic-practices/>on 30 September 2012.

Dovey, J and Lister, M 2009, Straw Men or Cyborgs, Interactions: Studies in Communication and Culture, vol. 1, no. 1, pp.1-18, retrieved on 30 September 2012.

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