Is Facebook The Coke of The Art World?

by Paddy Johnson on March 17, 2011 · 2 comments Opinion

Laura Levine, Sinead O'Conner

Conversations about how to use Facebook effectively usually make me want to put my head in a meat grinder but that’s probably because I’ve met a lot of people wanting to sell me seminars on the like. USA Today’s article isn’t a how-to-guide, so much as a survey, and it’s well worth the read, in my biased opinion. Myself, L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight, photographer Laura Levine and many more are quoted in Mary Brophy Marcus’ feature.

It’s a pretty thorough article and touches on a number of topics the least interesting of which being whether you’re likely to get a show simply by using the site. Brophy Marcus cites an artist who met another artist on facebook and got an invite to a show out of it, which is generally how the art world works IRL too. Ultimately it’s the work that will land an artist a show, but a connection needs to happen first.

It’s worth mentioning that the importance of facebook varies from field to field. Maintaining a facebook page will likely have little bearing on the career of a Behavioral Medicine student because the work culture does not require practitioners to only have friends within that field. Conversely there is often little to no distinction between colleagues and friends, off hours and on in the fine art world. Which all goes to say that quotes such as New York based artist Amanda Church’s “I sometimes think ‘Get to work’ when I see people posting and commenting a lot.” have a real world equivalent that’s just as slippery. “Sometimes I see friends yucking it up with curators at after parties and I think – you’re just their coke friend, not their artist friend.”

Previous post:

Next post: