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Art Ticker

“This sculpture displays the names of artists and indicates how fast they are rising or falling in the media. It gathers information daily from media outlets in New York city to calculate the fastest rising fame.” [1] Seth Aylmer – one of the artist of Art Ticker – also states that “If this piece convinces collectors to buy more work from emerging artists, it will be a success” [1].

The collaboration – or ‘media literacy think tank’ as they call themselves – behind Art Ticker is Fame Theory, where they “explor[e] interesting ways to connect people” [2]. One of their projects is Fame Game. Fame Game positions itself as “part of an art project to investigate the growth of celebrity in our media. We wanted to figure out whether there was more room for interesting art in mainstream culture, and determine whether more people could use the tools of celebrity and spectacle to publicize their work. We also wanted to help sponsors and patrons see returns on their investments in creative projects.” [3]. Their theory is to enable people make culture more interesting by playing with the media the way publicists do. “Get whatever it is you do out there in the public, generate controversy, push yourself on journalists, send a signal out into the media space and see how the network reacts. And try to keep it spiritual if you can.” [3].

Two related artworks in AEM are Nancy Patterson’s Stock Market Skirt (1998) and George Legrady’s Making the
Invisible Visible
(2004). In Patterson’s piece, stock prices from online stock is analyzed which results in a dressmaker’s mannequin – called Judy – to be raised or lowed accordingly. Legrady’s artwork processes the data of checked-out items in a library. It categorizes the items and interprets at the same time the popularity and interest of the items, or to say it in relation with Art Ticker: the fastest rising items in the library.  Another related work is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s  Synthia Stock Ticker (2000-2) , which is in the permanent collection of investment firm, Charles Schwab.

In Nation, National Culture and Art in an Era of Globalization and Computer Mediated Communications (2000) Niranjan Rajah states that “Satellite television and Computer Mediated Communication are opening domestic news and leisure markets to international marketing and cultural differences and receding as a transnational ‘media machine homogenizes the values and tastes of audiences around the globe.” [4] This development of globalization as seen by Rajah is supported by the nature of new media: “regional and national characteristics seem less relevant to digital artifacts of emerging new media art. As Malaysian artists develop a new-networked multimedia art in on-line interactive transactions, they are contributing to the shape of what will, arguably, become a truly global arena for twenty-first century art.” [4] Art ticker is an example of the globalization of art due to its new-networked nature and due to the message of supporting popularity and the homogenization of taste in art. This is Art Ticker‘s mission for success as stated by Seth [1].

[1] Artist short statement: http://vimeo.com/446918

[2] Project website: http://www.famegame.com/organizations/Fame_Theory

[3] Statement of project: http://news.famegame.com/credits/

[4] Edward Shanken, red. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009 P. 241-242

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