Aaron Koblin has seen the future and it belongs to Art that can be sorted, searched, zoomed, panned, crowd-sourced, personalized, contributed to, distributed, aggregated, granulated, and of course ‘Liked/Unliked’ whole or in part. Such art is Web-delivered and Web-enabled, much of it is also inconceivable outside of the context, capabilities and capacities of the Whole Wired World. It’s abundantly clear from the few examples Koblin describes in his TED talk (below) that the surface has scarcely been scratched with regard to what can be imagined in the yawning realms of data-driven and Web-aggregated creativity.
If you’ve a taste for media and art bafflegab critique, the vistas are also enticing. To pick just one of innumerable threads, each of the passengers on each of the flights here depicted (above) can be said to have affected the outcome and can make some small claim to co-authorship by means of their mode, day, time and airline choices. But before we get too excited about collective, spontaneous, author-less and therefore ego-less art, consider the Ain’t No Grave video.
While the video is the product of 250,000 sketch artists acting independently in 172 countries, they weren’t acting in isolation. An organizing intelligence, if not an author, chose to pair the song and the clips of film footage (each collective works of art in their own right), devised the system and the site, and established the rules governing participation. And behind the whole concept, there looms the persona of the Man in Black. What each artist submitted – that they chose to spend time and effort on a sketch at all – would have been a function of how they feel about the larger than life, and larger still in death, character of Johnny Cash. Extracting ego from art will not be so easy.
Originally posted June 6, 2011