Here at the Never Ever Realm there is a constant struggle between the idea of physicality and concept, between objects we can physically see and touch and that of ideas, things that cannot grasp but merely think. This is why considering the digital age of art is a concept that I am very preoccupied with.
Today not only does the artist have to create images and work manually, they must also be a web-designer, agent and social media whiz as well. In the good old days they would head into an office building and hand over a portfolio as their application for work. Or perhaps they would find a small cafe owner who was willing to display their pieces in the hope a business exec would walk in, see it and be in touch.
Now of course the magic of the internet is the wide visibility it gives artists, the plethora of platforms it provides people with to display their work and the ability at the touch of a button for it to be available throughout the world. But the issue comes that now-a-days it is more about a follower count than the quality of the work being assessed. It is the idea that anyone can be anything, because all they have to do is sit at a laptop screen.
We now spend the majority of our lives existing virtually as opposed to physically. Our careers are dependent on our knowledge of how to work the internet successfully, knowing all the tricks that gain you attention. It is no longer such about the work, as it is about your ability to manipulate technology to boost yourself. It will be the person with great Tumblr blog or YouTube account getting the job offers, not necessarily the most talented or technical artist. And when you stop to consider this fact, you also have to think about how real any of this is…. In exchange for a good piece of work you get some more hits or likes. Today we are working in a world of virtual currency that while we have been born into this world and our minds have adapted to understand this; you also occasionally step back and wonder how outside of your laptop screen this means anything.
For many graduates now seeking employment in their desired field they are realising they have no chance of finding a design job for a long time, despite that on social media sites they have a large following of people and a lot of online visibility. Yes in the hours they spend staring at computer screens they are someone, but outside of the vicinity of their bedrooms they are still just another 20 something that has been spat out and are struggling to meet to meet the cost of rent and living.