The New York Times often arrives late to the party when it comes to trends in the art world. But with a big feature article, Jennifer Preston hits the nail on the head when it comes to the art world and social media. “Rendezvous With Art and Ardent” explores New Yorkers using social media tools like Meetup to connect over their interest in museums, but it also gathers together a burgeoning art clique united by their interest in technology.
As the article describes, Meetup, a social media service centered around group creation and coordination, has helped everyone from ordinary New Yorkers to super-powered art PR staffers to get together to celebrate their shared interest in art and culture. Where Preston really heats up, though, is with the Arts, Culture, and Technology group on Meetup that is also the progenitor of the hashtag #artstech, which aggregates Tweets about art and technology and shows members of the group communicating with each other.
#artstech was founded by Julia Kaganskiy, global editor of the Creators Project. From its niche origins, the hashtag has grown to encompass an idea and and an ever-increasing number of artists, writers, curators, and bloggers who knew of and interacted with one another online, but not necessarily off. Prominent members of the group include Kaganskiy herself as well as Rebecca Taylor, communications director at MoMA PS1, and Lucy Redoglia (AKA @MetEveryDay) who runs the Met’s Web site and Facebook page. Here are a few individuals who I would add to the social-media-driven art world:
- Jiajia Fei, marketing associate at the Guggenheim
A hyperactive Twitter user and super-powered PR engine, Fei is an online presence at any Guggenheim event — for the opening of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, she could be seen perched on a riser, taking Twitter’s pulse and aggregating news and comments.
- Man Bartlett, social media artist
A performance artist whose chief medium is the Internet, Bartlett’s Twitter is an all-access pass to the artist’s creative life. Updates include videos from the studio and recent reports from Occupy Wall Street.
- Museum Nerd, anonymous social media art personality
This mysterious Twitter personage is perhaps the most active of them all, and certainly the most-followed. With 76,000 followers (with some help from Twitter’s suggested users list), Museum Nerd broadcasts his love of museums out to an international audience from a New York home base.
In the brave new online art world, anyone who can’t communicate with @ messages is totally out. Count on this group for a smooth introduction.
— Kyle Chayka