Friday, February 8, 2008

ART: The Unsettling and Exciting thing about the position we are in!

What I believe is or can be an extremely unsettling point about the position that I am in now (and I believe that this can also be the case for many others with images on imagekind) is also what is the most exciting part about this project. We are (most of us) presenting images to a public which is now able to, for the first time in history, interact with our work on a level which is unprecedented in history where the potential purchaser who is not in the role of patron beginning before the images have been created, has some say in the creation of the actual print and the final presentation even before making a purchase. This can be an often unsettling thought from a certain perspective which can perhaps cause anxiety and even great doubts as to "what am I doing this for?" type of feeling since for the artist who in most instances previously may have extended control over that which he is creating unless (as is the case with the artist patron relationship) the artist had agreed to give up some of his or her control in exchange for the finances with which to live on (sometimes or often something that in the past was almost not even considered at all) - instead there is an abandonment of the image to this new system which allows an extreme amount of input and interactivity between the viewer and the artist's image and in most cases keeps the viewers comments or feedback relatively distant from even coming close to the artist and their personal feelings. Instead, as I have seen in my case, there has been little or no feedback from purchasers, no feedback from those viewing the images but who have not purchased yet and only a rare occasional comment from a fellow artist and member of imagekind. This can lead me to feel both slightly unsettled and at the same time excited since the lack of comments can sometimes conjure up thoughts of questions as to whether I am pursuing a what I might consider "reasonable" course of action by being in this arena and at the same time great thoughts of excitement in that this does allow for a great deal of flexibility both on my part not to get too involved with such items after I have placed any of my images in this arena (therefore to go on and to continue creating at an unprecedented pace) and great anticipation as to what might occur when the viewers and potential customers actually begin to interact with the images once they are finally made aware or become aware of this system through their own explorations. So now that I have some 16,624 images in some 5,005 public galleries, but only a small number of images views (just over 156,215 image views by the time I post this) and a mere 38 comments altogether I thought that it might be time to focus on ways to perhaps both increase the awareness of the viewing public to my entire collection of images as it grows, since it is quite obvious to me that from a certain point of calculation there might have been up until this point simply ten visitors who viewed each image that I have in my collection at this point in time only once. While this of course may not be as much a part of reality as one person viewing all 16,624 image more than once(ten time maybe?), there is an indication from my perspective that with almost 300,000 people in the United State and over 6.5 billion people in the world, that there is a long way to go before even a small fraction of the world's population has seen enough of my work to make any type of dent in the number that constitutes what I might call a substantial viewing. The choice now in the forefront of my mind is the question as to whether to pursue such an endeavor of a marketing nature so as to attempt to cause such a viewing to take place (not a normal recommended course of action with today's understanding of permission marketing and the challenges that that brings to the arena as opposed to the previously popular methods of mass marketing) or to allow for the system as it stands throughout the imagekind program and system as well as throughout my web sites and the Internet itself to take on the dissemination of the viewing of my images and such exposure of these images that will occur in their own good time so to speak.

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