“EVERY HUMAN BEING IS AN ARTIST” wrote Joseph Beuys back in 1973. Forty years later, what was originally an iconoclastic statement has become an established mode of thinking, a utopian cliché for artists and curators looking for alternative modes of expression. While we can sit back and browse an endless supply of videos and images, reading reviews of events and exhibitions that we will never witness in real life, the simple act of gathering in space for a communal experience is more essential than ever.
Every day artists are creating works of art that few will ever see. They might be obscure, irrelevant, ‘difficult’ – but most likely they are just poorly publicized. Now that the internet has created an infinite archive for work to exist, the way that we choose or ‘curate’ content has become just as problematic. As the sheer quantity of artworks increases, the role of choice changes dramatically. Whether it’s music labels deciding what bands to promote or museum curators selecting what artists to champion, it’s clear that traditional, top-down modes of selecting the next big thing are no longer only in the hands of the few, but are in the domain of the many.