DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm17.77

Authors: Lena Fölsche, Andreas Jürgens

Abstract: This paper aims at analyzing selected visual artists’ Instagram profiles, under the aspect of digital narratology. In artist’s profiles, it is argued, one can identify different, often converging patterns of digital self-representational stories which oscillate between aesthetic performance and self-narration, identity building and self-promotion. As a tool for self-narration in digital environments, social network sites provide structures that allow their users to optimize the mediatized identity construction on monetary and temporal counts Through the "exteriorization" and publication of memories or the sharing of digital artifacts and their implementation into the narrated self, the individual makes the once-defined digital narrative accessible to a potentially exponentially larger audience than it would be possible via interpersonal communication. The findings indicate that artist's digital narratives on Instagram disclose a mechanism that is usually less explicit: the transmutation of an artifact into a work of art. The value of an artwork and of the artist who created, is formed by mechanisms of public recognition, whereby recognition by important actors in the field of art is particularly advantageous for the accumulation of symbolic artistic capital. The reciprocal effect of value formation in the field of art can be traced very well on the basis of social media platforms such as Instagram: because a person is considered an artist, his practices (e.g. the posting of a photograph on Instagram) are interpreted by other actors as artistic practices.

Keywords: Self-representation; social media; artistic practice; digital narratology


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