There is no doubt that we are living in an age of new technologies and social media. Our smart phones have become an extension of our body, we don’t shop without reading several reviews on Amazon, we don’t have to remember birthdays because Facebook reminds us and we can share our thoughts and emotions 24/7 – wherever we are.
But new technologies and social media have had such an overwhelming effect in our lives that we’re starting to get a bit scared and negative about it. So much so that psychologists and sociologists like Sherry Turkle – who became a digital “guru” and made the cover of WIRED in 1996 after she gave her first TEDTalk, “Celebrating our life on the internet”, are having second thoughts. Previously, she expressed her excitement as a psychologist on how people were learning in the virtual world and applying it in the physical one.
However, Turkle’s return to TEDTalk earlier this year with “Connected, but alone?” had a very different insight into new technologies and social media, pointing out how the new ways of communicating, connecting & sharing are detrimental to the old ones.
But, are we just being too negative and cynical?
Fair enough, we are living a digital revolution, and such drastic changes will always come with pros & cons. We will suffer some consequences and hopefully learn to coexist with them. But I don’t think any us could argue that digital times have only brought negative repercussions. In fact, artists, musicians, designers, journalists, and many other disciplines have found exiting new ways to collaborate and interact that couldn’t have been possible twenty years ago.
ditto is a great example of this. Those of you who have closely followed our journey, will remember ditto’s first collaborative project. Hosted in the Round House as part of the Short Circuit Festival, it was brought to life thanks to a virtual collaboration of musicians, artist and filmmakers, which culminated with a stunning physical event. My humble contribution to the festival was beautifully enhanced by a musician, who I probably never would’ve met otherwise.
On that positive note, here is another great example: Twitter Art.
Last week we could see what a virtual collaboration looks like in real life.
Twitter Art was an exhibition showcasing the work of a new school of Twitter artists. Curated by London-based motion artist Adam Rowe, the event showcased 25 pieces of art from 18
Twitter-sourced artists. The project is a response of #Twittbrief project from illustrations to photography to 3D.
Rowe stated, ‘Many of my followers are fellow designers who really liked the idea of creating an image via Twitter, and I’ve had lots of different types of artists approach me to get involved. The quality of work has been fantastic and I’m really excited to be showcasing it all in one place – hopefully it’ll be the first event of many.’
And after looking at some of the amazing images that have been brought together by social media, I’m sure they’ll be many more.
Fishfinger, Artist: Chris Lloyd @yllw_83 Gluttony, Artist: Olive Johnson @hello_oliv
Marmalised, Artist: Nidia Dias @unknown_girl_n Illustrious, Artist: Jon Yeo @jon_yeo
Escher, Artist: Adam Rowe @adamrowetv ContaminateArtist: Adam Rowe @adamrowetv