I recently had a tutorial on my essay with Rachel and I discussed my interest in now turning my research in a direction that starts to focus on far more contemporary work on internet art, as although Greene’s book is incredibly helpful it was written n 2014, 10 years ago now which deems it out of date when concerned with contemporary internet art. Rachel pointed me in the direction on the online Ney York times who often use GIF’s as their illustrations for the online articles. They obviously have a lot of articles online and i sifted through their website and picked some of my personal favourites. which happened to be by Alexander Glandien and Brina Stauffer.
Alexander Glandien and Brian Stauffer have both been editorial illustrators for the ‘New York Times’ . What has set these artists apart from other illustrators is they’re use of GIF’s for editorial illustration, something rarely seen, or at least is only recently becoming popular from what i can see from my research. This new wave of contemporary illustration is illustrators understanding that the materiality of editorial artwork being printed in papers or magazines, isn’t the most likely option to be seen by a wider audience and it is in-fact much more likely to be seen as a moving image in a digital newspaper. Realising this made me think about how the digital age is becoming able to take over all aspects of reading as their is even more E-books, and it’s quite unsurprising to see someone reading a digital book rather than a physical one. Which made me think about if this was the same for newspapers. with some online research into I managed to find an article form the same newspaper written by Tim Aragon. Aragon states newspaper circulation is on a steady decline due to the influence of web encouraging more people to look online for their news (Arango 2009). This is an explanation of how the internet is influencing artists to adapt their way of working to fit in with the digital age, using the GIF. If you are being asked to make editorial work for an online format rather than physical it makes sense that these illustrators are grasping at the opportunity and utilising the medium to its full advantage.
This all links back with my previous research into Nicholas Carr theories on ‘the internet adapting the way we process information. The internet is an immediate source of information and people are allegedly now starting to struggle to read things for long periods of time, due to the introduction of the internet and its instant information access abilities. This instant format changes the way we process text and images on a screen. Nicholas Carr believes that the internet is making us lose our capacity for concentration and contemplation; we prefer to go online rather than reading in a traditional sense. Our minds have become used to having a moving stream of information thrown at us, instead of taking the time to understand it (Carr 2008). This same rule applies for images we see on a page, virtually and in reality. Traditionally art is seen in galleries, and we are encouraged to continue to stare and look at one image for a while to consider the artwork. The present day now has an influx of art hosted online(like how i researched during my summer research project) that is now not the case. Instead we are flitting from page to page until a hyperlink entices us to look elsewhere, and consideration of a static image disappears. With Illustrators such as Glandien and Stauffer creating moving editorial illustrations it urges the user to linger on the image; this discourages the user from overlooking your work when browsing the internet. Which is also important to remember for my own practice.
Again, in summary the internet has changed the way we process information online which has inspired illustrators who are using it as a creative medium to adopt the format of the popular GIF in their work to maintain relevance and grab their audience’s attention. This contrasts how previous artists were utilising the medium. People such as Napier and Glandien were using for their own creative benefit, or communal benefit. But now however by looking at this work I can see it becomes a way of adapting to the current digital state we live in to remain current and/or ahead of the times. To continue my research I would like to look at the way artists and illustrators are using the internet as a medium now to enhance or increase popularity and usability of their work.
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