As a content producer and advertiser I’m keenly aware of how all ideas are judged on their ability to be cross platformed. The questions I hear are: can it be reduced down to emailable file, can it be represented by a url link, can I watch it on my phone, iPod, and HD monitor?
In order for an idea to grow beyond it’s initial conception it has to grow virally. In order for it to grow virally it must be easily spreadable across all media platforms.
So where does this leave the art or the aesthetics of the idea. I’m thinking of artists like Chuck Close and Edward Burtynsky whose work relies and comments on scale. Do the ideas for these works die once they are cross platformed. If I’m picture messaged a Burtnsky photo does it cease to be a Burtynsky? With Manufactured Landscapes director Jennifer Baichwal shows us that Burtynsky’s work can be repurposed to a feature film, so why not an online game, a cell phone screensaver, a ringtone?
Is this type of cross platforming going to be the norm in art? I’ll use one of the most celebrated contemporary artist working today, Mathew Barney as an example. Barney’s films are sliced, and diced, repackaged and sold in bits. His elaborate sets, costumes, and soundtracks are repurposed for an art gallery setting. The film can be viewed in the theatre, on DVD or streamed online. Dealers and patrons, well being art lovers, are also business people and they understand the value of an art piece adding value to this emerging digital economy. It’s no wonder that one of the biggest art buyers, also own one of the biggest advertising agencies.