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celebrity death match: audience vs author

after an update from one of my favourite blogs, the SEE life differently blog, i started thinking about the relationship between author and audience and how that has and will change in future, and also what effect that may have down the line.

the kids at SEE have developed this great interactive technology that they've used on a few of their branding projects, as well as in the cafe where it kicks in as they serve your coffee to a bunch of hungry butterflies. it features on their award-winning Elwood jeans website, and I for one was impressed 'cos it allowed me to scribble over the web page and not get in trouble!! ha ha!
it's part of their development of branding 'experiences' rather than the traditional dictatorial approach to marketing/branding/advertising/selling. Read their thing on it, they're better at explaining it than i am.

Anyway, in reading about this new way of relating to consumers, it got me thinking about the necessity of current author/audience relationships. How important is that traditional role of audience to author where the author says and the audience responds? As an artist, i don't want to treat my audience with contempt and force them to experience the work from a particular point of view, but at the same time, the reality of the situation is that i create the work expecting that, based on the traditional role of audience to author, the audience will interact only up until a point, but mostly consume (for want of a much less loaded term). Even interactive works have this as the basis from which they depart to encourage the audience to interact.

If, as i hope they do, companies and brands BEgin to address their audiences on a more authentic and possibly personal level, and consumers, or perhaps people in general, begin to interact on a far more active level, will this lead the way to affecting culture in raising the level of interactivity we will expect? Or will art continue to operate from the tradition standpoint and the divide between art and advertising becomes greater. Does art influence advertising or advertising influence art (by influencing consumers, who then engage with art)?

It will be interesting to see if, down the track, this does see a paradigm shift in the way a person perceives that which is presented to her/him, be it advertising, a performance, an artwork, what the resulting artwork will be. If the beginning point from which an artwork is created is based on a highly interactive audience (as opposed to a more static and reflective one) what will that look like, feel like? Will the work that bases itself on stasis become the new avant garde (as interactive artworks are now)?

I have no answers.

In fact, i don't really know if i want answers. I could go and study a bunch of theory on the subject - in fact i could probably develop a goddam thesis on it, but just for now, i'm enjoying the questions. I don't usually think about what form of perception i base my artwork on and just for a while, i'm going to.


At 16 September, 2006 18:03, Blogger Jade said...

Hello Lauren!
this is a very good and interesting posting!
i had this scary thought, though, that the interactive advertising is like those people that get paid to go and drink a particular drink in a bar and pretend they love it and pretend they are real people (for example, i can't remember what it's actually called but it's got a name)...and so we might spend our lives wondering who is a real person...it does not have that much to do with what you're talking about in some ways (technology) but it does in the sense of being more interactive and on a personal level, too, but probably not an authentic one if you know what i mean. Hope that made some kind of sense.
I heard of an artwork/theatre thing where someone would go and talk to random people at a melbourne train station and the conversations were 'broadcast' to the 'audience' who had some special listening devices or something.
On a completely different subject, i put a link into my text...yehaa! and it worked because that is how i got here....it was a bit of trial and error, but i got there in the end...


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