༺ Social Media Manifesto 2©15 & Beyond ༻

Does devoting oneself to social media in earnest (in 2015) = a devaluing of, if not a full-on departure from a life in the arts ... /OR/ is said devotion the greatest act of art one can endure


German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys died in 1986 of heart failure after a long illness at the age of 64. He once said of his idea "Social Sculpture,"
This is a very important concept for me. If I
produce something, I transmit a message to
someone else. The origin of the flow of infor-
mation comes not from matter, but from the “I”,
from an idea ... Art alone makes life possible––this
is how radically I should like to formulate it. I
would say that without art man is in-conceivable in
physiological terms ... I would say man does not con-
sist only of chemical processes but also of metaphysical
occurrences.The provocateur of the chemical processes
is located outside the world. Man is only truly alive
when he realizes he is a creative, artistic being ...
Even the act of peeling a potato can be a work of art
if it is a conscious act.
I see the proliferation of social media use as a direct continuation of this concept. Selfies and status updates are high art. If you are looking down upon humans who utilize social media to the max, you need to check your hater's attitude at the door. If you think people who do selfies 24/7 are narcissistic, well there is nothing more narcissistic than a life in the arts. We now have the tools which allow entire cultures to create free, totally accessible art in real time. This is the moment to embrace it for what it truly stands for.

...Because time might be running out...

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Isn't this devotion to social media more akin to religion than art ... /OR/ has religion always been the greatest form of art we've ever known

The other day I saw a YouTube video of the Paris attack on the magazine headquarters of Charlie Hebdo. I quite literally couldn't believe my eyes. It did not feel real.

Later that same day, I saw another a YouTube video of a shooting outside a strip club less than a mile from my house. This video felt more real. The idea that either video wasn't "real" to begin with is a hilarious thought, and quite literally evidence of how internet content culture is fracturing concrete reality. But the parallels between them in an abstract setting are more interesting. The Hebdo shooters were so deliberate. The strip club shooter was so hesitant. This is because of their gods, Mohammed vs. a nameless stripper.

...Art has always been a deadly thing...

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Is social media unhealthy ... /OR/ is religion unhealthy [religion=art] ∴ is art unhealthy [art=living] ∴ is living unhealthy [living=social media]

I am taking selfies in real time as I write this essay. One of the great masters of the selfie and the selfie critique is Mary Bond, creator of autodissociate.me. She writes,
Contemporary academics engaged in the study of the
development of adolescents and young adults are currently
embroiled in a vicious debate: are Millennials, the
youngest generation, self absorbed to a point which is
unhealthy? Although it is definitely a fair argument that
Millennials are more self aware than previous generations
had been, if only because so much of their life is
documented and then immediately reviewable.
I personally find any debate about "health" laughable in a world where there are so many types of cancer and you can be murdered for drawing a cartoon. So what this really boils down to is an attack on self-awareness––or, better stated, one's perceived assessment of the self-awareness aptitude of strangers. Talk about unhealthy!

...Old vs. young is the lamest battle...

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Has the time for social media crested /OR/ is this moment in time ripe for the picking

Selfie was named Oxford's Word of the Year 2013. Selfie is to social media :: as prayer is to religion. But it's 2015. Selfie is a new TV show on the ABC channel. I would argue you that the water has never been warmer. But the thing about warm water is the boiling point.

From the Pew Research Center:

...You will get burned...

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There has never been a better time to get involved in the game of social media. The numbers have plateaued which, quite literally, equates to an even playing field. The #1 thing to remember is STAY TRUE TO YOUR PERSONAL CREATIVE NATURE. Metrics and monetization are irrelevant once you realize that your own personal journey into the realm is a sacred artistic statement. Come what may. This has been my Social Media Manifesto. There shall be no more selfies in my quest for the death of self. I haven't even been born yet.

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And so there you have it. The fight between making things and making things for social media continues. I hope I have done enough today to make it clear that there is no fight and that it makes no difference even if there is. If life is mostly meaningless then let's attach as much meaning to the most insignificant moments as we can.

I will leave you with a quote from one of my heroes, John Cage, who said,
Whereever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it,
it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating.

...Don't ignore the noise...

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