I’m giving a talk at Northern Voice this year entitled From Permalink to Profound: Where is the Art in Social Media? Here’s the blurb:
When an artist considers a blank canvas, she dreams of painting something beautiful.
When a blogger looks at a blank WordPress form, or a YouTube user stares at his own image in a webcam, he dreams of describing his lunch.
What are the most popular works that arise from social media? Sex tapes, silly dances, essays on open source software and renditions of Pachelbel’s Canon on electric guitar. They’re sleight of hand or stupid pet tricks, not profound art.
Social media seems to discourage the profound. Why is that? Where is the art in blogging or Twitter or Facebook? Can we create works of deep meaning and lasting achievement in social media?
That’s a big fish to fry in forty minutes, but I’m hoping we can have a conversation about lasting human creation and the social web. I’ve been using the Northern Voice wiki to assemble some of my thoughts and take a shot at my thesis.
If you’re interested, I encourage you to read over what I’ve done so far, and edit, add, disagree, suggest and otherwise contribute in the comments here or over there on the wiki.
To summarize, the central question I’m struggling to answer is something like this: who is making the lasting, universal, profound works of art on the social web?