So a friend shared this Nickelback parody filmclip satirising the prolific use of instagram for documenting every aspect of our lives, and feeling rather arty and proud while we do so… even though everyone else is using the same filter on the same picture of a sunset, or feet on the beach, or cute cats etc.
(Unfortunately the video has since been pulled down so I can’t share it.)
And look, there are definitely funny bits in it. Because we are all the same – trying to make something out of the ostensibly ‘nothing’ of our lives.
Overall though, I think it’s fantastic that technology is giving us more avenues for self-expression. It might be funny and unoriginal that we’re all taking pictures of feet on the beach, old doors, and cute cats – and using one of the same 10 or so filters to enhance them, but so what? Is anything unexplored in the so-called Real Art World today? Is anything original? Everything is appropriated, re-worked, re-explored. Why not instagrammed cloud formations too?
When I was at the Francis Bacon exhibition in the Art Gallery of NSW, the exhibition curator suggested that Bacon’s work might well be the product of his surrounds. His notoriously cluttered, crazy, messy chaotic studio, the floor two inches thick with old paint tubes, photographs, magazine pictures etc may well have influenced the way he created his work. I.e. Considering he did his portraits from photos, rather than in real life, perhaps seeing a dog eared / half-torn picture of his subject lying on the floor next to a paint tube and a picture of a monkey might have given him the inspiration to put all those things together in his painting.
Similarly, my surrounds, i.e. my tiny studio apartment, reflect the nature of my work. I don’t have the space to do ginormous, messy paintings. I do contained real-life inspired stories, photographs and animation put together using my MacBook – which all fits quite easily in a tiny apartment.
And so, for a mainstream population, with an office day job, with no studio to work from, and no gallery apart from Facebook or Google+ or Instagram – they/we work with the tools available and exhibit accordingly, right?
Anything that makes it easier to create is okay by me. Let’s leave it to the art machine to decide whether it’s ‘good’ or not!