Abstract - The Unintentional Post- Internet Artist


The Post-Internet Art Movement is radically different than any of its historical predecessors, for reasons of authorship, the rapid pace in the creation of new technology, distribution networks, blurred lines between artist and spectator, and most importantly, an accessibility in material and platform to any person, regardless of artistic merit or skill, to participate in creating artworks.  Artie Vierkant briefly touches on this notion in his essay, “the Image Object Post-Internet”, where he states,

“The most radical and ‘progressive’ movements of the Post-Internet period would be those who either pass by either largely unnoticed due to a decision to opt out of an easily-accessible distribution networks, or else would be composed of a community of people producing cultural objects not intended as artistic propositions and not applying themselves with the label of artist.”

The question asked now is who are these unintentional Post-Internet artists (a subcategory of Post-Internet Art that this essay will argue) and how have they become cultural influencers akin or surpassing the art world elite, breaking down the historically established position of the artist?

In this writing, I identify three people actively engaged in Post-Internet art making whom are creating digital objects of cultural value through social media either without the goal of being an artist, or without acknowledgement of their digital objects as being an art object: The Instagram Story You Shouldn’t Have Missed, The Flood of Facebook, and The Critic Who Creates Objects. Through these case studies, I will examine how the shift in responsibility of cultural influencers, commentators, questioners, and critics from traditional artist to social media user, dramatically effects the role of the artist moving forward. As craftsmanship and physical materiality become less important culturally, and the “poor image” gains status, the option to make art becomes easily accessible to any person.