Tumblr Randomly Generates Art All Day, Thanks A Lot Brad Troemel

August 11, 2014 | Marina Galperina

Noworkflow is a new project by artist Sam Newell responds to Brad Troemel’s 2013 New Inquiry essay “Athletic Aesthetics,” which discussed…

Athletic aesthetics are a by-product of art’s new mediated environment, wherein creators must compete for online attention in the midst of an overwhelming amount of information. Artists using social media have transformed the notion of a “work” from a series of isolated projects to a constant broadcast of one’s artistic identity as a recognizable, unique brand. That is, what the artist once accomplished by making commodities that could stand independently from them is now accomplished through their ongoing self-commodification. This has reversed the traditional recipe that you need to create art to have an audience. Today’s artist on the Internet needs an audience to create art. An aesthlete’s audience, once assembled, becomes part of their medium.

…how artists must prolifically defend their “brand” online all the time. In response, Newell has created a system via Tumblr (appropriately) “where a script constantly updates a Tumblr account with randomly generated Photoshop images. The bot will upload images until the daily post limit is reached and then will start up the next day.”

Brad Troemel, continuing:

Posting work to the Internet without a network of viewers in place raises the same questions as the proverbial tree falling in an empty forest. If a Tumblr post has no notes, is it art? Does it exist? For young artists using social media, the answer is no. If an audience for their work isn’t maintained, it loses the context necessary for regarding it as art. Facing dim employment prospects and precarious conditions (not to mention massive debt from higher education), such practitioners aggressively seek to exercise clout in the online attention economy through over production.

Noworkflow speaks to aforementioned self-commodification through this platform-specific surge. It pauses, but never fucking ends. Now go check see if any of those posts have notes/are actually art.