Traditionally for individuals to view and appreciate art, people have to visit museums and galleries that feature them. Although textbooks or art books may be an alternative to people who have not the time or finances to visit museums, many would still argue that seeing the artwork live is an irreplaceable experience. Making an artwork live nowadays can be interpreted in a whole different way. Being “live” in this contemporary times means being available online or being connected to the ins and outs of trends in social media. The Miami Beach Bass Museum of Art has taken advantage of the digital culture phenomenon to host an art exhibit on Instagram.
Exhibiting Art on Instagram
The idea of the exhibition is not a new concept on Instagram as a social media platform. As a venue which uses digital images as its building blocks, it has been the home of various forms of art. For one, beauty and fashion trends concerning make-up, clothes, and having the ideal body image are made popular and advertised by a new group of internet celebrities called ‘Instagram models.’ Empowering themselves with the extensive reach of social media and the interactive platforms of these sites, artists can easily attract more people to view and appreciate the art – more commonly known as gaining followers. Some makeup artists, designers, and handcraftsmen even manage to earn a living because of their popularity and large following by gaining sponsorships.
Launching “Joyous Dystopia”
The Bass Museum of Art recognized the power of Instagram in reaching more people through an art exhibition hosted on the social media platform. The organizers recognized the fact that not a lot of people can physically visit their museum in Miami Beach, so they thought of bringing art instead to individuals through their portable mobile devices. This July 2019, they opened a show called “Joyous Dystopia” exclusively through Instagram via the museum’s social media account, @TheBassSquared. The series of the artwork posted on Instagram was organized by the founder of Daata Editions, David Gryn. Daata Editions is an online platform for featuring new media and native digital artwork. The show has been made possible through the funding provided by the Knight Foundation’s Prototype Grant.
The exhibition is scheduled to run for eight weeks with an artist’s debut release each following week. For the Instagram launch, the artists chose to exhibit in “Joyous Dystopia” are Scott Reeder, Karen Cytter, Anaïs Duplan, Jeremy Couillard, Elliot Dodd, Eva Papamargariti, Bob Bicknell-Knight, and Rosie McGinn. The chosen artists have worked previously with Daata Editions and are somehow familiar with the digital platform. Others will work on releasing an exhibit using the platform’s one-minute video feature while others are trying to experiment with the new online medium.
More than celebrating and emphasizing of using Instagram as a platform for contemporary exhibition spaces, the artists claimed that their purpose in holding the online exhibit was to send positive messages to viewers such as finding joy and humor in problematic circumstances. Using the accessible Instagram platform, the “Joyous Dystopia” exhibit dreams of utilizing the beauty of art in creating a healthy distraction from people’s busy and hectic atmosphere of real.