Has Social Networking Killed Original Creative Art?

Tonight I was transitioning from Day Job into Photography by watching KQED’s Spark.  The episode that was on was about Benton, Ramos, and Riley; Three artists from San Francisco that were luminaries of the 1960’s California art scene.  During the secrtion on Fletcher Benton, a sculpture that was one of the first to create kinetic scultpures during the 1960’s, Benton said (paraphrasing as I couldn’t replay the show on my Mac to get the exact quote):

I didn’t know what I was doing.  I was in the studio for 12 or 14 hours a day busy working.  I wasn’t paying attention to what others were working on.  I was too busy creating, blindly following my heart.

What struck me about that statement is the sharp contrast that this has to today.  In today’s world of interconnected and real time information flow and social networking it seems like nothing happens in a vacuum.  If you ask anyone they will tell you that you have to be on a social network to gain wider exposure for your art.  But the social network doesn’t work if you are not social.  You have to not only share your work but engage with your network, to connect.  When than happens, it’s inevitable that comparisons and references will be made to others.  Or you will start to network socially with other artists and follow their work.

Doesn’t that whole process kill the potential for you to lock yourself way in the studio for hours on end and follow your heart?

Could all this social networking be killing the original creativity that results from when you follow your heart?

Or is it just making it more difficult to follow your heart?  Now having to make a conscious effort up front to ignore other influences.  And doesn’t that eliminate the ability for you to blindly follow your heart?

Hmm, curious thoughts…time to turn off the internet feeds and work on some photographs.

One thought

  1. It is hard to find out a piece of art that does not relate, in a way or in another, to some other one. Visual art has always been copied, studied and shared. Maybe the point here is the speed and the visibility of the process that increased by some orders of magnitude. In the Renaissance, for a painter, the opportunity to study someone else’s image (or one of the masters) happened only once in a lifetime and it required a lot of time only to get there.

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