PR + Digital ART=Evolution

Okay, you are probably wondering where on earth I am going with this or why I am mentioning computer generated art a.k.a digital art in a PR-focused blog. Digital art like social media is interactive. It uses the web as a tool to generate discussion, comment on society, and exchange art, culture, ideas. Galleries and museums now have digital art exhibits and online gallery spaces. For example, Spaces Gallery: Virtual Spaces, showcases digital art. The online exhibit “Unofficial Communication” by Collette Gaiter challenges us to think about graffiti art as a form of communication that is not warranted by the public and is seen by some as obtrusive and dirty. I personally like her opinions section which starts off with the 1st Amendment and merges into various images of graffiti reading “TV is king” and “police.”

Gaiter’s exhibition lead me to thinking about how every medium starts as unofficial, as an innovation, as something unwarranted, but as more and more people begin to accept it and use the medium it becomes mainstream so much so that it eventually loses its original format and ingenuity. We look at so many web pages a day, digital art gets our mind-juices flowing and challenges us to think about the medium we spend so much time devoted to for communication. I discovered Feed 1.0, which unravels individual web pages into text, pixels, and graphs. I had way too much fun watching Reuters.com become mere lines and boxes.

How is PR tied to digital art? Can PR or even marketing harness the uniqueness and creativity of digital art as a way to engage their publics in a conversation using art? I feel that this can happen. Imagine you are an agency or corporation and you want to conceptualize a virtual space where your clients or publics could generate an interactive story where each person visiting the site could create a character and tale using digital images about how they used your product. (Obviously there would have to be some sort of monitoring-I am copyrighting this idea!) I know this may seem like some lofty-idealistic vision of merging PR with digital art, but hey why not?
The Natural Life Cycle of New Media Evolution was the impetus for this post. The author’s Lehman-Wilzig and Cohen-Avigdor (2004) created a model for the evolution of new media. They proposed that a medium begins at birth then moves through the following phases: market penetration, growth, maturation, defensive resistence, adaptation, convergence and then obsolescence. And when I contemplate digital art, blogs, and other social media, I look to this model as a way to think about the future of the medium and how PR and the communication field have to constantly be aware of new forms of media and where they might be in a life cycle or phase.

Do practitioners use the newest form of a medium to appeal to niche audiences or continue to use the one at ‘maturation’ where the medium becomes commonplace , status-quo and is at its pinnacle? What is better to use the medium everyone is using because it’s safe, comfortable, controllable or go beyond and look to other, newer media to communicate with publics? What is more valuable and how can emerging forms of media really be evaluated as effective and profitable?

For further parousing:
Check out Walker Art’s Gallery 9 and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s E.Space

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4 Responses

  1. This is especially interesting to me because I’m attempting to generate PR for a book about digital art photography.

  2. I think you just did it. Tell us a little more, Matt.

  3. Awesome, I’d be interested in what you have to say and the project you are working on.

  4. I use the digital medium because I can… I find that I can create what I need with it. Interesting points though I feel a medium is a medium and the message is what counts.

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