The web liberates the relationship between media and audiences and opens the flood gates for artists – like yours truly – to cut out the middlemen.
“The “public sphere” is generally conceived as the social space in which different opinions are expressed, problems of general concern are discussed, and collective solutions are developed communicatively.”Definition of the ‘public sphere’, Oxford Bibliographies website.
When I publish art I go under the name Emeteriax. I use this pseudonym to seperate my art from my writing and to distinguish my involvement in one public sphere from another. Let’s take Instagram as the main platform for my involvement in the art community.
The platform operates in a similar way to many other social media websites, relying on algorithms and user interaction to drive traffic. Unfortunately, the key issue this creates for artists is that unless they are posting every, single, day–nobody is going to see their work.
The algorithm is meant to be a method of quality control through boosting images with the most likes and comments; however, this creates a bubble. Newer artists struggle to breakout of this because the algorithm blocks other users from seeing their content. See the paradox? You can’t get popular without being popular first.
This creates a horribly unfair system where the people who have money and resources to create overproduced and regular content are rewarded by the algorithm.
Artists might not be vetted by art curators and enthusiasts now, but we do have to contend with the 24/7 media cycle. My advice to anyone who wants to support artists online is to give likes and comments on their works to help them become more recognised in the art community’s public sphere.