Amateur artists and artist-professionals recreate and upload intermedial artworks by visual artists Bas Jan Ader, Lisa Steele, and Vito Acconci to proprietary social media such as YouTube and Vimeo. What does this impulse signify? On the one hand, our “culture of confession,” facilitates narcissistic social expressions that leach into the digi-cultural sphere. On the other hand, late capitalism threatens the fragile singularity of the individual. Consequently, the way that people understand others has changed, and thus the knowledge generated from the original artwork may no longer be enough—it must be embodied and re-produced to fully understand and value its meaning. Drawing on the writings of Philip Lejeune, Chloe Taylor, and Nancy K. Miller, I argue that the impulse towards recreating and “sharing” artwork online characterizes a desire to better understand the self through the artist’s artwork, and produce intersubjective viewing encounters with others.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matthewryansmith/93/