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Martine Syms, For Nights Like This One, 1979

ICA Off-Site: Do You Follow? Art in Circulation #1

15 Oct 2014

‘Internet circulation has made all art look the same’

‘Why does so much new abstraction look the same?’ asked critic Jerry Saltz in New York magazine earlier this year. Galleries, he lamented, have gone over to ‘copycat mediocrity and mechanical art’, coming to resemble the generic look of shopping outlets rather than the ‘individual arks’ of the past. In particular, Saltz criticised the influence wielded by ‘speculator-collectors’, which many understood to refer to art world figures who use social media channels such as Instagram to generate attention for their favoured artists.

On this panel, art historian Alex Bacon challenges Saltz’ contention, suggesting instead that we are not looking carefully enough. Artists Martine Syms, Takeshi Shiomitsu, and Kari Altmann discuss the role that internet feeds play in their practice, arguing for different understandings of the problems and potential of ‘sameness’ in art. Chaired by Rhizome Curator/Editor Michael Connor.

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