January 15, 2013

Technology Changes Art

From social media networking to online fundraising, technology (most namely, the World Wide Web) has had a huge impact on the art community and how business is conducted today.

Technology and the Internet have changed everything. People used to write one another letters, and now they just message them on Facebook or shoot them an email. People used to ask around before purchasing a product; now they can look online for reviews, and find out exactly what they need to know. Technology is responsible for changes in many industries and niches, and the art community is no exception.

A survey of a wide-ranging mix of U.S.-based arts organizations shows that the internet, social media, and mobile connectivity now permeate their operations and have changed the way they stage performances, mount and showcase their exhibits, engage their audiences, sell tickets, and raise funds.”

These organizations are even finding that technology has changed the very definition of art: 77% of respondents agree with the statement that the Internet has “played a major role in broadening the boundaries of what is considered art.”

Technology has changed the game, and the Internet has rewritten the rules, but the social networking sites have really sealed the deal, and the survey reflects that.

“They are using the technologies to expand their offerings, grow and diversify their audiences, and bring technology users into the act of creating art itself.”

How many of your friends are on Facebook with a business page? How many have offers or deals to drum up new business? You see it every day, but it’s not only relative to marketing, but also what art is. It’s redefining art.

A pile of trash wouldn’t normally be considered art, right? If you’ve ever heard of shadow art, you’d know that it definitely could be. Art like this has spread rapidly because of the Internet.

Young artists are beginning movements using the Internet as a vehicle for publicity.

Yarn bombing is one of the craziest I’ve heard of. As seen on Knit the City, it’s a form of graffiti using yarn and knitting.

Neither of those forms would probably be considered art if they didn’t have a community of artists supporting them, but the Internet provides that necessary network. I probably wouldn’t have even known about either of them if not for the Internet. Those are just the ones I’ve come across; surely there are more out there that I haven’t found yet.

1,244 arts organizations that have recently received funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) took this survey.

Of those, 1,155 completed the entire survey. “The final sample includes organizations of all sizes, from very large to very small, with widely varying operating budgets, staff sizes, and organizational missions. It also includes organizations from disciplines across the arts world.

From marketing of events, shows, and exhibits to online stores for sales of artwork, the Internet and technology have shaped the art community drastically.

Image Credit: Pixel Embargo / Shutterstock

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