“Today, there are artists who are fully engaged with the world of Web 2.0, the term for an interconnective Internet with sites that encourage user participation” (Pollack). Being as the most basic medium for new media art is the web new media artists have a massive horizon for sharing their work and name through social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, and even Facebook, and the better opportunity to draw in an intended audience that will follow their work. ““Social-media art, for me, is defined as anything that uses social media as either a medium, as source material, or as a starting point for critique,” says Hrag Vartanian, editor of Hyperallergic.com, a Brooklyn-based online publication” and even Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has “coined the phrase ‘The Social Graph’ to describe the way that a network of relationships can be applied to a variety of purposes, such as marketing (Pollack).
The use of social media to present new media art is becoming endless; works that accumulate as followers add commentary, Twitter feeds of performances, and countless YouTube collaborations of videos and other pieces have made it an open stopping ground with limitless possibilities for new media artists today. One specific artist who uses a social media platform as his medium would be Benjamin Lotan when he came up with the ‘Social Printshop’; the ‘Social Printshop’ is a package that, for $25, Lotan will make a poster out of your Facebook picture. Lotan originated the company specifically for the other students at his program in the University of California, San Diego, but “he has already attracted two investors, raising over $70,000, but plans to expand Social Printshop to a much larger scale by this summer” (Pollack). Another artist who is fielded in social media is An Xiao. An Xiao bases her work mostly on contributions from her followers, mostly through social media platforms like Twitter, and has even given a full performance, ‘The Artist is Kinda Present’, to fans through a live Twitter feed in 2010.
New media artists like An Xiao and Benjamin Lotan are opening new windows and exploring the greatest of possibilities for modern and future artwork and their artists. “Artists are harbingers in working with materials and technology that keep updating faster than we can blink” says Barbara London, new-media curator at the Museum of Modern Art (Pollack). Converting into everything from narratives to abstracts, the use of social media as a medium for new media artists has been nothing but successful for them and can only become stringer from here as new platforms are born and the current ones expand to meet the consumer needs of both givers and takers.
Pollack, Barbara. “The Social Revolution.” Art News. 2011: n. page. Web. 18 Mar. 2014. <http://www.artnews.com/2011/06/01/the-social-revolution/>.