Workspace materials documented with Instagram
I had an interesting catch up with my artist friend, Brece Honeycutt, a week or so ago, and one of the topic threads that came out during our conversation was how and why (even) more documentation (of process) should be a part of my work. This observation was coming from me actually, despite being some one who probably shares more than she should online before critical details are resolved from both a material and conceptual standpoint.
It is curious to me these days how one is often tempted to take a photo of a work in progress via Instagram – particularly when one might want to test how a certain studio scene or new form might look with an applied filter.
Eve Hesse with her work – seeing the artist in this manner
seems integral to better understanding her process at the time
I know that Eva Hesse would never have done this. (I suspect.) Why is my ego currently connected to this mode of documenting just because the technology exists and the sharing promises to link us to other like-minded creators and visual storytellers?
Alyce Santoro's Sonic Sail installation
photographed with Instagram at Gasser Grunert Gallery
I thought about this more when visiting Alyce Santoro's exhibition in Chelsea last week, particularly as I snapped photos of her exquisite sonic fabric installations and Philosoprop and ontological apparatus creations. Was I doing her a disservice by providing an immediate recording of the event – even if folks seemed to be really "liking" what they were viewing in my virtual community?
"Documentation" is a definitely a subjective act these days, and one where the goals are not always clear. Perhaps this is what I am struggling with. A record of making that allows for open-endedness, both in terms of a genuine process and the inclusion of a wider audience.
There are also performative aspects to creating work, documenting it, and then sitting back to absorb the feedback via social media. The real issue is that critical feedback does not come in the form of mere "likes" or virtual heart icons. The art world is surely tougher than this.
Detail of a collage from 1997 photographed with Instagram