Though I currently use Facebook and Twitter to spread the word of what I’m doing with my photography I have realised that I have been cutting back on being engaged in social media. My growing dissatisfaction with social media is one part of the deep background changes that are currently happening in the culture of photography.
I post regularly on Facebook (here and here) and Twitter (here). It's basically drop and run. I only comment now and again on posts by friends, or in a couple of groups where there is still a minimal sense of online community. I then leave social media alone. My reason is that I don't really like Facebook and its algorithms, and I detest, if not loathe, its business model approach to the way it collects, stores, or analyzes its users’ data. Facebook is an advertising business that tracks people first and foremost; it is a Big Tech company that aims to become the operating system of our lives.
This kind of negative reaction to social media is probably quite common. Joel Colberg, for instance, has an interesting post on what is happening in photography and social media. His argument is that social media has had a destructive impact on the public sphere of online photography. I agree with him and so I suspect would many other artists.
In this post, the Canberra based art historian Sasha Grishin outlines the changes in the art world. Restricting himself to the primary art market Grishin says that this market was a traditional part of the traditional infrastructure for selling art, but now it is failing to do this.
Grishin says that:
"The traditional structure for selling art in Australia is through a commercial art gallery that picks up fresh talent, and then through the auspices of a newspaper art critic who promotes it to an art buying audience...[However]... In the 21st century, this 19th-century system of marketing and promoting contemporary art is seriously breaking down and the number of commercial art galleries in Australia has roughly halved over the past couple of decades."
He adds that patron visitation rates are poor and, outside exhibition openings many galleries report minimal visitors a day. People complain that they are time-poor and are more likely to visit a gallery online, than participate in the dying ritual of the weekly art gallery crawl. Online sales have not been seriously explored.
Even though my leg is still infected and I need to continue with the course of antibiotics, I am able to move around a little more freely now that the stitches have been taken out and the skin healed.
After returning home from the 5 day sojourn in the Flinders Medical Centre I have limited myself to walking down Solway Crescent to the Encounter Bay boat ramp. At sunrise the boat ramp is a hive of activity now that the channel has been dredged. Some boats are already returning at 6am--presumably they have dashed out to check their cray (rock lobster) pots, whilst others are going out for a days recreational fishing with their friends.
I have limited myself to photographing the head and tail lights of the parked 4 wheel drives, then I sit at a table for a while watching the boats come and go in the morning sun before returning home for breakfast before I begin to edit this post. In the late afternoon I repeat the walk. Since this walk is not long enough to exercise the poodles Suzanne has been walking them in the morning and the afternoon.
I spent 5 days in a ward 4GS at the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) last week, due to the skin graft on my leg becoming infected, whilst I was preparing for the Mallee Routes exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. I ended up at the emergency department of the Victor Harbor Hospital on the Sunday of the exhibition open, then went to FMC early on the Monday morning. I left FMC late on Friday afternoon.
Though I was on an intravenous antibiotic drip for the infection every six hours for the 5 days I was ward 4GS I was allowed to make short walks outside the ward in-between the 6 hours.
The short walks meant that I mostly explored the area around the coffee shop such as Theo's or the cafe in the Centre for Innovation in Cancer. I would usually wander around this area after treating myself to a cup of coffee; or after dinner at 5pm.