» [Davos 2012] Do artists use social networks for their creations?

[Davos 2012] Do artists use social networks for their creations?

I’m moderating tomorrow a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos about artists and social networks.

Do you have great examples of art being created with the use of social networks in a collaborative way?

I think the movie snakes in a plane had crowd sourcing as well as the Youtube Symphony Orchestra come to my mind as great examples.

On the other hands, designer Philippe Starck, fashion master Karl Lagerfeld and other creators told me they never use the Internet to get inspired and on the contrary they see it as distraction. Philippe told me he just looked at the Ocean and needed to be alone while Karl had his best ideas in his dreams or waking up in his bed.

I would be really interested in any pointer to good examples of art, literature, creations made using social networks collaboration as well as counter examples.

Do you think in the future artists will use social networks other than for marketing purposes like collecting likes on Facebook?

Would have Picasso used Facebook?

Thanks! I will report back!



  • Anonymous

    Tim Grosvenor @elephantbird:disqus  of Switzerland used Posterous/Twitter to coordinate artists from around the world for the Giant Egg Event to support the Rainforests of Madagascar: http://tgegg.posterous.com/

    Davis Sandum @davidsandumart:disqus  of Norway coordinated a global Twitter Art Exhibit to raise money for children’s books at the Moss Library, Norway:
    http://davidsandumart.posterous.com/100-close-up-photos-from-the-twitter-art-exhi

  • Tim Grosvenor

    I cannot tell you how strange this is. Over the past few days I have been thinking about doing a serious social science investigation of the ways artists use social networks. As you know I was a sociologist for 20 years (and might still be one LOL). I think there are so many levels to this. I must say one thing directly to you and that is that the word ‘artist’ on any social network seems to generate a response from others that is very different from other ‘labels’ applied to people’s descriptions. I think for example that Google + is beautifully designed to suit the needs of artists as it places imagery at a higher level than say, Facebook. I have seriously wondered whether Google themselves are aware of the importance of artist social networks. They are remarkably robust, cross cultural, global, inclusive and curious. I am not sure whether the question of whether Picasso would have used social networks is really important but certainly I would like to know a great deal more about the uses made by artists of social media.

  • Tim Grosvenor

    The text below was that used at the beginning of the collective website I set up to launch the Giant Egg project.  Thought this might be of interest. I only live around the corner from Davos (Zurich) so if you want to invite me… ;-) Only kidding, I know Davos is a rather select group.  The best of luck with your speech.Using the power of social media and especially the power of @blogbrevity to mobilise people, I am proposing that artists from the twitter world make their contributions to a collective Twitter Giant Egg here.  The egg will be assembled by me and when complete will be displayed at the Zoo Zurich as part of the Giant Egg Event.  Artist of all types can submit images, sketches, words whatever, around the theme of protecting our natural world and especially the rainforests of the world.  The purpose of this event is not so much to raise money, although some might be raised but more importantly to use creativity and collective action to raise awareness.  I will e mail interested people with the contribution address. 

  • P E Sharpe

    As an artist I work in isolation in the studio, but as an individual I have had amazing support networks come about as part of my interactions on social media. I have also been curated into exhibitions and have written about and consulted with other artists as a result of the development of these networks.

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    thanks all for your comments.

  • Amy Feldts

    The legion of extraordinary dansers (http://thelxd.com/) the web site has oscars and TED movies…Social filmmaking (http://www.peterbroderick.com/distributionbulletins/files/0655bcc16a04a8e150e3c5f6236e5d05-11.html)  Social Writing (http://www.killerstartups.com/Social-Networking/soopbook-com-reading-writing-social-books) and a video on youtube from Social Media week  Four Authors Discuss How Social Media is Changing Reading and Writing (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFKlTtwxAv0). I would tend to believe that while zen/soliture/calm are necessary at the moment of creation the inspiration may be build from many many pieces that can be brought together in unexpected ways via social media.
    Not sure about Picasso BUT I would love to have seen what Dali would have done with social….

  • http://www.loiclemeur.com/ Loic Le Meur

    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/angelaastrid Angela Beckh

    Agree with Tim- Google+ is particularly suited to be both a platform for exchange between artists  as well as a source of inspiration due to the many layers of interactivity and information. To Loic’s question- would Picasso have used social networks? In any case both Picasso and Dali corresponded a lot and exchanged sources and pictures. At almost the same time Dali and Picasso  painted their versions of Velazquez’s masterpieces in the late fifties and would have certainly benefited from a social network that allows interactive exchange and  tap into the world’s information be it a painting, sculpture, monument, book or music or any other art from. Possibly they would have added a sound setting or other interactive media experience to their work of art. Furthermore social networks free artists from geographical boundaries, which before determined their place in history. Would G de Maupassant have been the same writer without the closeness to Flaubert or the impressionists the same without the setting of France at the turn of the century? As much as social networks are disruptive to the art world, they are an incredible source of cross fertilization. Also as art becomes dematerialised and more social , the power shifts from the collectors + art dealers to  the social platforms that host these new forms of art – making art more immediate but maybe more accessible to larger numbers. When David Hockney created his work on Iphone and Ipad recently - he said the following  ”Who wouldn’t want one? Picasso or Van Gogh would have snapped one up,” You can make a drawing of the sunrise at 6am and send it out to people by 7am”