What's wrong with covering Facebook with visual art?

February 12, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

If you are a reader of this blog and also a Facebooker, you've probably seen the recent meme asking you to help "occupy Facebook with art."

The process is the same as must such memes. If you like the post, the poster will give you the name of an artist. You post a work by that artist and so on and so on. A similar recent chain posting asked for poems.

Innocent enough in a world of lunch photos, not-so-funny accident videos, and news anchor moments gone bad?

Well, Caitlin Dewey of The Washington Post doesn't think so. In a recent post, she wrote that "Facebook 'occupiers' are...posting self-indulgent poems or images to show off how sophisticated they are."

But Dewey misses an important point.

Playing along with such memes doesn't have to be about showing off your art-loving credentials.

It can also be about discovery. It's not just about sharing artists you like (even if you only pretend to like them) but also about the pleasure of doing some research on the artists your friends assign to you. Facebook, at its best, is about interaction and linkage, not just asserting who you are and what you already believe.

Thanks to my friend Bill, I got to know a bit of the work of Clyfford Still. And I enjoyed assigning to other friends a range of artists from Gustav Klimt to Lincoln Center poster artist James McMullan, from fantasy artist and album-cover staple Frank Frazetta to pencil sculpture artist Jennifer Maestre, and from local favorite Emma Overman to singer/songwriter/painter Joni Mitchell. I hope that those who took on this minor challenge took some pleasure in the process. I know I appreciated seeing which of the works that they found spoke to them.

And, for a while, Facebook certainly was a lot more interesting.

  • My take
    My sister gave me Dali, and after considering playing along, I opted out, choosing not to spend any more of my day on FB than I already had. If 15 friends had played along and liked my post, it would have required thinking about an artist to assign to each of them. Too much like a chain letter with guilt attached if I didn't continue it. Nah, I passed. Glad you enjoyed it, tho!
  • Upliftingl
    I really enjoyed my art "assignment". Learned quite a bit about the artist I was assigned and then had close to 20 people "like" my status. That left me to research a bunch of other artists and try to pick one for each friend. I chose my artists carefully for each person-tried to figure out who would fit best with their personality. It has been fun to see which pcs they have chosen and to read why they chose that particular pc of work. I see nothing negative about this at all!

Post a comment to this blog

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!