Intelligence Squared Asia - Social Media is Killing Art

Rm N101, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Thurs 23 March, 6:30 - 8:00pm

"Social Media is Killing Art"

Amalia Ulman (small)


Social media is like fast food – rapidly consumed for instant gratification. No wonder social media demeans art. Artworks that instantly seduce online become tedious when contemplated over time in the flesh. Once art goes viral, it gains traction, particularly in the market, and becomes unjustifiably acclaimed.  Museums may be keen to reach new audiences, but can great masterpieces really be appreciated on the miniature canvas of your mobile phone screen? Shrink art and you shrink its power – no one can really believe they've experienced an artwork without examining the ideas and the artist's mastery of their medium. And this is an even bigger issue when it comes to experiential artworks such as performance or virtual reality.


What nostalgic nonsense, say digital art fans. Attacking social media is like attacking photography in the 19th century. The internet is the medium of the age. To ignore it is to reject the future. For existing masterpieces, social media is the key to all the world’s museums and galleries. No longer are works hidden away in dusty storage rooms in another country. With a simple swipe of your finger you can explore artworks you never knew existed, prompted by suggestions from people you admire. Commercially, the online art market is estimated to have grown to over $3 billion in 2016. At last, art has become truly democratic, open to all to view and buy.


Agree – or disagree? Join us on Thursday, 23 March 2017, hear the arguments, and make up your own mind.





Image © Amalia Ulman

from the series Excellences & Perfections (2014) 

125 x 125 x 2.7 cm digital C-print dry mounted on aluminum

Edition of 1 plus 1 AP

Courtesy of James Fuentes LLC. 

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