Undoubtedly, the rise of Instagram has changed the experience of art viewing. Released in 2010, the photo and video sharing app now boasts over 800 million users worldwide. Artists, particularly visual artists, who had to promote themselves and their art by sending out slides or CDs or by building an individual website can now disseminate their images across the globe with a single post. The potential to create a following is enormous.
But Instagram, unlike Facebook or any other social networking app, also functions like a creative space akin to an artist’s studio. It is changing the experience of art making. Very often Instagram is a working space, available 24/7, for trying out ideas and not a gallery for promoting “finished” pieces. And many artists make work that only exists in a virtual online environment or specifically for their social media network. There is no IRL (in real life).
The exhibition Instagram and the Artist’s Studio explores the varying uses of Instagram as evinced by ten different artists and artist collectives. Their identities as local, regional, national, or international artists becomes almost irrelevant as the collapsing of geographic barriers is one of the most profound outcomes of Instagram’s global proliferation.
What constitutes the physical presence of the artists’ Instagram accounts will vary in the MCAD Concourse Gallery space. For some there will be an indexical reference to what is seen virtually, while for others there will be an enlarged visual presence that changes the relationship of the viewing body to that of the images. All of the installations will challenge traditional modes of understanding the “presence” of an artwork.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.