The internet is by far the worst thing to happen to art since the Dark Ages. Now we have a massive over saturation of terribly edited photos from tweens, who just got their first camera, throwing a piece of #art recklessly out into the ether. Today alone, millions of photos and videos and songs and whatever else will be posted on some corner of the Internet, a small fraction of which will ever even be seen by more than a few hundred people. In a clusterfucked network where everyone's a critic, myself included, the idea of making a career out of being an artist, at least in its classical definition, is fucking dead. As many paintings of flowers you may create there isn’t a single person on the planet that is going to pay enough for them for you to live off of. Thusly, very few people even bother going to art school and very few people are classically trained in the arts at all. Sure, you can shoot streetstyle, a lookbook for your friend’s brand or design a tee shirt for that very same band and call it art. This, most likely and with very few exceptions, is not going to pay the rent either.
When I first started taking pictures with an old three megapixel Canon point and shoot, it was my first foray into the serious consideration of what it was to create a piece of art. I posted my horrible creations (pictures of sunsets and photo manipulations that over abused Photoshop's filter functions) onto DeviantArt, a site now filled with manga drawings and more than half-naked questionably aged girls. Abandoning this conceptual wasteland, I’ve since moved on to a 35mm Nikon, a print studio and a pirated copy of CS5, and onto Flickr and Cargo Collective. And even these sites have very few gems amongst the shitstorm. And of course there is Tumblr, the hip new totes awesome Internet mecca for creatives. It boasts a "community" of artists, illustrators, photographers and graphic designers and, not so shockingly, there are some talented folks to be found. But for the most part a search for “#art” will leave you doubting your vision due to the sheer amount of vintage filters applied to the most shameless of selfies.
Our generation is culturally decrepit, with so few creators of original content and an unlimited amount of people to repost the same shit into infinity.
My interest in the arts led me to summer programs away from home, a magnet arts high school and now art school full time—all questionable decisions. I have devoted countless hours, outside of the classroom and studio, outside of assignments, to working on my personal "vision," and in the end it may be completely for naught. In the eyes of the Internet, the thirteen year old from Delaware who takes a black and white picture of a flower and posts it to a Facebook album called “My FotoGraphy 2012” is just as much of an artist as I am. Herein lies the major problem of being an artist in the Internet age. Everyone can be an artist. Very few of them will ever produce a viable picture worthy of any artistic merit, but all of them are going to call themselves photographers. Just like every person with a MacBook can open Garageband and produce a song. Anyone can pick up a pencil and draw. Art is the most accessible thing there is because anyone can take a shot at it and in today’s world, you can share your creations in a matter of minutes. The Internet is our best friend and our worst enemy. Never before has it been easier to finish a piece, whether it’s a short story, a photo, a painting or a movie, and have it viewable to the world that very same day. This side of the Internet, the democratic side that allows us to get shttps://twitter.com/#!/search/%23teambreezyeen at all, is great. However it's this same thing that powers the fifteen minutes of fame cycle, and also allow someone you’ll never meet to anonymously tear your work apart like a fucking wolverine on acid.
We are the generation whose museum will be the Internet, and who's most accomplished artists will remembered by their usernames, their works hanging in cyberspace for all eternity— a beautiful painting next to a duck-faced portrait of girls with spray tans with some photoshopped Jason Mraz lyrics over it.
The Internet is a double edged sword, waiting for the next willing artist to throw themselves upon it. There are so many twenty-somethings taking subjectless pictures on a Contax T2 that it would make your head spin. So many people recording songs that sound the same. And so many talented artists that will never earn a single dollar off of their work. Very few of these artists will have their work hung in a gallery or published in a obscure zine or professionally recorded, and those who do will probably not be remembered after they’re dead, let alone the day after their masterpiece graces our monitor. A lifetime of work and no recognition—talk about a terrifying thought. After we all pass away, when our great great grandchildren look back on our generation’s culturally defining years, all we’ll have to show for it will be pictures of food, a few Photoshopped self portraits and some godawful dance songs. Our generation is culturally decrepit, with so few creators of original content and an unlimited amount of people to repost the same shit into infinity.
We are the generation whose museum will be the Internet, and who's most accomplished artists will remembered by their usernames, their works hanging in cyberspace for all eternity— a beautiful painting next to a duck-faced portrait of girls with spray tans with some photoshopped Jason Mraz lyrics over it. We will produce no artists for the history books and physical museums of the world not because there is no talent, but because the talent is buried under mountains of shit piled towards the sky.