How is the influence of an ‘online presence’ visible in contemporary art?
Since artists find that their online presence is a reliable and worthy context in which to present their art, they gravitate towards creating something a lot easier and faster in terms of production, which in turn allows them to maximise the number of art objects, profit or audience reach.
If the artwork reaches a wider audience through its online pre-sence, does it increase the level of democratisation in art?
The works that artists create for online purposes are far more accessible than the ones created and presented in site-specific locations, so in a way that kind of work makes it much easier to get in into the very elitist art world. Online gives the freedom to create outside of the financial goals of galleries, and the freedom to create contexts which can be whatever, since the spatial and temporal limitations no longer exist. However, what may seem more democratic in this context also creates a situation where we start to value more meaningless things.
Sensually rich art objects don’t exist if there is no understanding of time or space—which are very human parameters. The problem isn’t that online artworks are more accessible, but that ‘experiencing art’ has become ‘viewing art’ which just drives artists to make more photogenic artworks. The artworks then assume a product-like nature because of the values that we are transferring from a mass production-orientated lifestyle onto the presentation of art. This is what I’m curious about: values are the crucial factor here. Without the idea of time and environment, the work of art loses its context and so becomes rootless. If we value this way of making by choosing to play along with it, we prefer the meaningless but aesthetic outcomes. Then what separates the artwork from any other object?