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Mediating Authenticity: Performing the Artist in Digital Media
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2010 (English)In: Great Expectations: Arts and the Future, The European Sociological Association’s Research Network on the Sociology of the Arts (RN02) mid-term conference, 2010Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study examines the interplay between identity positions, dominant ideologies, and discursive practices on the Internet. The aim is to study how a culture like the art world is adapting to digital technology. The starting question is: How are artists’ identities created today? To answer this question, I did an ethnographic study of art students at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (KKH), focusing on their use of the Internet as a means of communication. During a five-month stay as a teacher at the school I studied how 50 students artist's identity was performed on the Web, and 10 students were interviewed about their views on marketing in general. The study shows a picture where two competing concepts of the artist create uncertainty about how an artist should be: like the romantic concept of the genial artist or like the institutional concept of the artist who is collectively created by the art world’s institutions. This applies to someone who appears as an outsider but in practice is a networker. The ideology expressed isn’t something new, however the discursive practices have changed. The artist is still an oracle that must be explained by others, but when the art world through globalization became more difficult to overview it is not enough to hang at gallery openings, a digital business card in the form of a website makes the curator’s work easy. It must however still look as if someone else does the framing. The common denominator for the students who used the web more directly to communicate and collaborate was not that they were making “digital art” but that the that they appeared in various creative fields. Digital media can be seen here as a mean for the individual to more easily move between different art worlds, and thus as a possible means to change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Art sociology, digital ethnography, arts education
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-67449OAI: diva2:470303
ESA RN02 2010 Midterm Conference, 1-3 September 2010, University of Surrey, Guildford, United Kingdom
Available from: 2011-12-28 Created: 2011-12-28 Last updated: 2012-02-10Bibliographically approved

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