An Invitation to Super-Participate


“As the experience of art has always been a social experience, the artist is by definition a social media artist.” – from The Manifesto for the Post Reality

Social media is nothing new as far as the artist is concerned. The artist operates in a network of social relations: their work attached to public recognition, critique, and discourse. It is this discourse that is central to artistic expression, it’s ultimate manifestation, as art becomes a catalyst for social engagement and cultural transformation.

“The open studio goes open source.”

With the The NetArtizens Project, we are exploring the distribution and contextualization of art in the age of social media. Today, artists are expanding and accelerating the “diffusion” of their work and studio process by opening the tap to the multitude of flavors and distribution channels of social media. The NetArtizens Project is testing this idea by establishing three representative feeds, which over the next 30 days will generate streams of artistic and dialogic utterances for exploring new convergences of artistic production and discourse.

“It is where individual expression is amplified on a global scale. The social media moves at the speed of light, it is real-time.”

What are the implications for the global reach of media production, not just for the artist, but for all practitioners of the network? And how does the speed and velocity of fast-paced utterance radically transform the nature and quality of how we engage with others? In other words, what are the emerging “net behaviors” in the immersion & flow of media creation, research, and information dissemination that we participate in each and every day?

“I’ll absorb the endless streams… to transform them, remix them, and re-broadcast them back out from wherever they came.”

I would say that our individual and collective “net behaviors” are trending toward the idea of a collaborative society of producers, artists, and reporters. We have become journalists, commentators and broadcasters tagging, disseminating, and sharing information through the network. We have become “super-participants” in a dizzying exchange of events & situations that range from the catastrophic to the most banal. We are collective purveyors of viral stories capturing minute detail from the trivial to the profound, which course through the veins of the global network 24/7.

“I’ll be a distributed artist… artistic expression reusable by anyone, anywhere, in any form.”

And so as “super-participants,” we share any & all things that cross our screens and capture our imagination. We have embraced a form of expression that allows us to shape and reshape a fast-trending cultural zeitgeist that seems to shift hourly, if not instantaneously. As a result, one of the “net behaviors” that manifests is the need to Annotate everything: commentaries that become part of the transformation of the evolving lexicon of the global conversation.

 “My story will become a meta-story, spreading context/meaning/description to the information I capture/tag/replay.

We have become storytellers in the collective narrative of social media. The streams of narrative that flow in chronologically descending order create a new kind of “story,” one that seems to have abandoned the past, an ever-present Now of information relating almost exclusively to what is happening in the Moment. In the age of social media, our attention span has been abbreviated due to a fascination and obsession for the Present: what is situated at the top of our feed is what matters. What descends, disappears and becomes history, losing our interest, quickly.

“My narrative will feed on user feedback: folded in, sampled and resampled, fed back through and out again. Everything is captured and processed and remixed and connected and re-connected.”

The whole dynamic of the networked social exchange has accelerated to such a degree that the missives we fire at one another demand immediate response, or else they fade into that forgotten past. We are all patched into one another in an enormous hub, all of us, appending each other’s media & commentary with new information, annotations, and digressions. There is simply no time to reach back in time.

“You’re all invited… for everyone belongs to everyone else.”

We invite you to The NetArtizens Project to super-participate for a month of self-analysis and hyper-distribution. If the flow of the project becomes a drowning experience, then embrace it, critique it, share it, and disseminate it. That’s the only way we’ll come to terms and fully grasp our evolving role as NetArtizens.

5 responses to “An Invitation to Super-Participate

  1. I don’t think I can participate completely for 30 days, because I already have other plans, but I will drop in to see what is happening from time to time.

  2. Excellent Catherine! Follow the @netartizens Twitter feed and join the netbehaviors mailing list and you will enter into the conversation. The NetArtizens site has all the instructions….

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