ACCIDENTAL ART (2016)
(SHORT-LIVED LIKE AN INSTAGRAM USER’S ATTENTION SPAN)
If we don’t have time for art, art has no time for us.
I was moving the brush over photographs just as fast and random as most instagram users scroll over and like pictures in their feed. I took photographs of the painted photographs – the paint still wet, the brush sometimes still on the medium. The photographs seem like Work-In-Progress-Images but they are the done work itself. People like the idea of the artwork, but not the artwork itself. Most of the actual painted images got thrown away immediately after taking the photographs. But no one cares about the original, the copied image in the instagram user’s feed is more important and even that image gets attention usually just for a few seconds. In this short time span the image get’s „liked“ or scrolled over. The painted images are also made to last just for a few moments. The analog art gets shortly recognized by the artist taking a photograph until he withdraws his attention and throws them away to make something new.
The artwork reflects the extremes of someone who is lost in social media use. The artwork doesn’t value it’s mere existence, but only it’s flattering copy of an already faded moment in time; the paint still shimmering fresh, young and exquisite. Nobody cares about the death of the artwork, we just decide in seconds if we like it and move on – not in any way enriched by the experience of it.
Never the less the images are somehow aesthetic, capturing moments in time and the present moment indeed is all we have. But most of us are not present in the actual moment, our attention is short-lived just as the artwork. The moment we come to appreciate it with a „like“ the artwork has already died. We missed the reality of it. We deny the original moment and get nostalgic about the past or run away into an imagined future. We fetishize a past moment online and receive outer appreciation. These days joy and appreciation got cast out of the now-experience of a moment itself into a future moment in which we receive reactions to the memory of it. Most of us can’t rest in the moment itself to find the joy and awareness about what is real and what is illusion. Don’t we want to be real? Isn’t it the depth of reality that makes an experience enriching?
The presentation of the work took place on instagram using the Caption „Accidental Art (short-lived like an instagram user’s attention span)“ . It seems almost ironic that instagram user’s liked the pictures. Are they confirming the theory stated in the caption? Did they think „pretty existing art work – i like“? Or did they maybe take the time, thought about the intentions behind the image and decided to appreciate the real experience of it or it’s concept? The artist will never know. He just get’s an information about someone double-tapping on his image or a programmed like-bot doing what he should. Online appreciation just like money is nothing worth in itself. It is the worth attached to the concept that creates true value. Without it, concept remains nothing but an illusion.
So the artist, as impatient as the instagram audience, merely created fast content, that, by the power of the viewer’s attention, may accidentally becomes art.