How can social media algorithms and engagement tactics coexist with creative processes that were born in an environment where individual expression was the paramount motivation, rather than the reception of one’s work by others?
Amidst the hectic onslaught of university deadlines, I’ve spent the past month reconfiguring my creative process in an attempt to crystallise what precisely differentiates my photographs from those of others and, more fundamentally, whether I was creatively fulfilled with the content I was pushing out. The paradox is that creativity is such a subjective and fluid concept that any attempt to clearly define one’s aesthetic is somewhat futile because it is inherently elusive and ever-changing. Most art stems from one’s sense of creative freedom and the ability to inject concepts that are missing in culture and society. But what happens when so much of the same material is circulating the creative space that it undermines the very fundament of art-making? How can social media algorithms and engagement tactics coexist with creative tendencies that were born in an environment where individual expression was the paramount motivation, rather than the focus on reception of one’s work by others?
It’s the repetitiveness of content permeating the art scene today that runs against the objects of creating art in the first place. This inevitably has severe repercussions on the overall quality of information shared online and could potentially be one of the key causes of decreased innovation in the digital age. This is exemplified by the autonomy of users to selectively follow the works of their favourite publishers through subscription. On one hand, if users are consciously subscribing to publishers that create content extending across a wide categorial spectrum, this could potentially mitigate the issue of restricting oneself to a select few genres of interest. On the other hand, since personalisation is an integral factor to the enjoyment of the application, most users only follow those who inspire them, which goes back to the bubble effect of recycled concepts that circulate social media and the impediment on exposure to a wide range of content. Concurrently, however, perhaps the problem rests in the fact that our generation has become too dependent on online outlets as sources of creative stimulation.