Ah, but is it art?
This morning I found myself having an online discussion about iPhoneography. This was at a forum that is largely populated by what I would call ‘traditional’ artists – and lovely people they are too. We were discussing art movements and whether movements are easier to develop these days because of the ease of spreading information.
The writer suggested that art critics don’t pay a great deal of attention to today’s art movements. Also, he wondered whether the ease of communications these days takes away from the impact of them. I found myself explaining why iPhonegraphy is an art movement. It was such a rant (you know what I’m like) so I decided it ought to go here too. This is what I wrote:
Our iPhonegraphy has become well-known worldwide because of the internet. If you Google ‘iPhoneography’ you’ll find that there are over two million results. Then try ‘iPhonegraphy royston’ and there are over 85,000 results. With two million results for the generic term, I wonder how a critic would argue that it ISN’T a movement to be taken seriously? Google ‘rasquache’ and there are about half that number of search results.
If anything, it could be said that the ease of spreading information enhances the impact. Andy knows iPhoneographers all over the world, most of which he has never met. Together, they have arranged exhibitions worldwide. Surely this increases the impact?
Cameras – the regular kind – were invented in the early nineteenth century but it wasn’t until ninety years later that ‘art photography’ was an accepted as an art form. Phones with cameras have only been around for five or so years and yet iPhonegraphy has become huge.
The fact that iPhonegraphy is exhibited in major galleries indicates strongly that the art world itself takes the movement seriously – and yet the medium itself is new and wouldn’t have developed so quickly if it was dependent on its exponents meeting in a sidewalk cafe in Paris.
In the end, does it boil down to the medium used to create art? Would critics devalue iPhonegraphy because of that? You’ll remember the recent FASO discussion regarding The Scream in pastels. The writer suggested that it was less valuable than an oil. Almost everyone who commented disagreed (as did the buyer who bought it for over 100 million).
Oh, I do go on, don’t I? :)