Monday, August 19, 2013

Artworld's Reaction to Citizen Art: not like Science and DIYscience

Considering the tradition of the highly-regarded place of science in society and the venerated scientific method, it is surprising that the ScienceWorld has deigned to notice Citizen Science and DIYscience efforts. Initially, the reaction of science may have generally been to dismiss citizen science, however, in many cases, perspectives shifted to wondering how to collaborate with citizen science efforts and how low-cost world-wide accessible Internet models could help to crowdsource study participants, data analysis, and other aspects of studies. The ecosystem became a continuum ranging from institutional science ('high science') to the individual n=1 quantified self experimenter ('citizen science as the venture capital arm (e.g.; starter, feeder, interest-surfacer) of science').(More)

Now the advent of new media has democratized the tools for art production. It is much easier for individuals to express themselves creatively in many different digital art venues and genres. Some of the tools that facilitate individual and collaborative creativity include Garage Band, SoundCloud, Pinterest, the Spore creature creator, blogs, Twitter, and virtual worlds. It is therefore timely to ask about the ArtWorld's (e.g.; insiders: artists, museums, critics) potential reaction to Citizen Art. As opposed the ScienceWorld's reaction to Citizen Science, the ArtWorld's reaction to Citizen Art could be much more complex. This is because art has been, and may always be something contentious. Key questions remain unsettled and even more pronounced with new media and digital art:
  • what is art? 
  • who can do art? 
  • who can determine what is art? 
  • what is the consecration process for art? 
  • what is the societal and political role of art? what is the role of art as critique (of art, society, politics, etc.)? 
  • is art autonomous from society? 
  • what does the commercialization of art mean? 
Precisely because it is art, and not science, the acceptance of Citizen Art by the ArtWorld is much more nuanced than the tangible and quantitative nature of science, including Citizen Science, that makes results demonstrable. What is at stake is also more nebulous, although some new genres of digital art like SciArt, itself a mix of science and art, may be earlier to be acknowledged by the ArtWorld. (More)

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