I just read an article from the Guardian that reviewed some of the top 30 art apps for iPhones. I got some of the free ones- because at heart, this is the juncture of a personal definition of art and tech geek fun.
Yes, the iPhone has revolutionized my life. But in a good way? Well – it’s great that I can check email, facebook, twitter, national and local news sources – ANYTIME I want to. But is social media the right tool for connecting people with art? My applied research is how not only to use the tool for promotion – but how does social media engage people? Does Facebook empower them? Does Twitter really make people feel like they have something valuable to say?
Lately, I’ve felt that Twitter and Facebook has become the lounge lizard space I used to identify when I was a college student… way back in my youth.
In the Lawrence U conservatory main lobby, there was a circle of chairs and a couple of couches where students hung out during practice breaks, or before classes. But the real lounge lizards were those of us who waited there for friends to come out of rehearsals. It would have made better sense to use the time practicing. Instead we found our conversations more valuable. We explored a galaxy of issues; from cafeteria dining experiences, to the latest embarrassing moment, to even world politics. I have so many fond memories of college friends and moments from the orange chairs with the rounded backs.
What are today’s college students going to remember? Will they be something they read on a glowing phone screen? I truly hope their memories will be of real faces, places, smells and textures of the world they’re in right now.
My business is to introduce new ideas to students. The ideas may take shape in an experience, art production, art making or in the creative environment around them. The ideas aren’t mine. My job is to help them find these ideas. And in order to do that, I’m most effective when I can get them to try something out of the ordinary. I think to when I was encouraged to try something new.
I was sitting on an orange chair with a rounded back. A friendly lounge lizard told me that English Stout was the best tasting beer in the world. Not long after that conversation, I realized he was right when I tasted my first Old Peculiar. And that experience opened up a world of culinary explorations. A life-long joy to discover new tastes of food and beverages from around the world. It’s great to match food with culture. I’ll admit it – I’m a humanist in the most basic sensory way.
And now it’s my turn to pay it forward. I now introduce new experiences for students, not knowing what will be a lifelong value for them. I hope that as we continue on our daily work, there will be a moment I helped to connect a value for someone.