Rm N101, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Thurs 23 March, 6:30 - 8:00pm
"Social Media is Killing Art"
Pre-debate vote: For 20% | Against 54% | Don't know 26%
Post-debate vote: For 49% | Against 51%
Social media is like fast food – rapidly consumed for instant gratification. No wonder social media demeans art. Artworks that instantly seduce online become tedious when contemplated over time in the flesh. Once art goes viral, it gains traction, particularly in the market, and becomes unjustifiably acclaimed. Museums may be keen to reach new audiences, but can great masterpieces really be appreciated on the miniature canvas of your mobile phone screen? Shrink art and you shrink its power – no one can really believe they've experienced an artwork without examining the ideas and the artist's mastery of their medium. And this is an even bigger issue when it comes to experiential artworks such as performance or virtual reality.
What nostalgic nonsense, say digital art fans. Attacking social media is like attacking photography in the 19th century. The internet is the medium of the age. To ignore it is to reject the future. For existing masterpieces, social media is the key to all the world’s museums and galleries. No longer are works hidden away in dusty storage rooms in another country. With a simple swipe of your finger you can explore artworks you never knew existed, prompted by suggestions from people you admire. Commercially, the online art market is estimated to have grown to over $3 billion in 2016. At last, art has become truly democratic, open to all to view and buy.
Agree – or disagree? Join us on Thursday, 23 March 2017, hear the arguments, and make up your own mind.
For the Motion
Royal Academy of Arts, London
© John Shand Kydd
Against the Motion
Founder of SFA Art Advisory