This article contributes to the literature on art, new media and identity by investigating the role online communication plays for young visual artists’ identity management. Drawing from comprehensive sources on the Internet such as blogs, web pages, networking sites and digital magazines, as well as interview data from art students at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, the article describes how artists deal with convergent contexts online, while addressing an exclusive public of cultural producers and simultaneously reaching for a broad cultural significance.
The study shows how the artists’ discursive practices online foremost preserve a traditional artist’s persona. The common denominator for the few students who used the web differently to communicate and collaborate was that they appeared in a variety of creative fields and also that they came from affluent families. However, to reach a high degree of consecration on the Swedish art field one should not communicate with a broad public online but with the right people that one first gets to know face-to-face at intimate social gatherings. Online communication is foremost used as a way of displaying belonging to the field, and to show that one recognizes a certain value – the singular artist.