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Art world embraces virtual currency

Art no longer need cost a fortune

Social media has escalated artists into the public eye, and the latest trend involves ‘buying’ original art works with one’s social media currency.


social media art
Source: stephaniepopart.com
The trade-off is simple: art fans post pictures, tweet, Instagram the artist’s work and share the art as widely as possible; in return for this increased promo, they are rewarded with an original piece.

Last week the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch hosted Nokia’s new #100aires art-project. Doing away with the wallets entirely, the idea was to transfer the art-goers’ social network-minded communication skills for artistic value. Hundreds of artworks were exhibited according to stickered categories, where bidders shot the images for social media. The influence and reach of these posts was measured on the day (taking into account reblogs, reposts, likes, follows, hashtag interactions) so as to determine how much the art was ‘worth’. Artists get their work out there, and cash-strapped would-be investors can own original pieces.

The event highlights the subcultures and interests of the social media world, and shows the potential for moneyless systems online; it certainly contrasts with the multi-million pound sales for archaic works at Sotheby’s. Instead, the convergence of social media and the art world offers artists the opportunity to use their creativity and connections, changing the way art is distributed. Certainly, if social networking projects such as Nokia’s continue, the art world will no longer be the reserve of the elite.

Richard Prince has found popularity with his #Regrams project, in which he prints out and then re-photographs celebrities’ Instagram posts.

Images are being shared and reproduced more and more, helping art works to reach their widest audiences yet, triggering a change in the way people are understanding, and interacting with, art. For literary boffs amongst you, it certainly seems we can draw parallels between this latest social media fad and Walter Benjamin’s seminal ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ from 80 years ago. In its ability to be reproduced and republished in various and innovative situations, art seems to be losing its ‘originality’. Simultaneously though, this opens up really interesting opportunities for sharing, distributing and selling art works. 

art and social media
Source: sproutsocial.com
Across the pond in New York, artists like Kelsey Montague are using social media to help raise their profile. The pen and ink artist took over the wall of a busy block in the city’s trendy Nolita neighbourhood. Combined with the hashtag #whatliftsyou, the artwork depicting angel wings is not only a strong statement about positivity, it's also fine-tuned to engage Instagram's art and photo community.

Passersby and fans can pose with the impressive street art and contribute to the hashtag, which has appeared in over 100 new Instagram photos since its debut on Friday. Yes, it's public art – but social networking makes it even more public.

 
Recent graduate and now interning as content editor, when she's not writing articles Katie can quite likely be found festival-ing, holiday-ing or reading a book (dedicated English student that she is). Follow her @KatieAtSMF.

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Art world embraces virtual currency Reviewed by Anonymous on Friday, July 11, 2014 Rating: 5
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