I'd like to talk about the internet.
the internet. Not The Internet who is clearly amazing, and hopefully also bringing you to a calm state to talk about something not as soothing...the actual internet. wifi is the current most common name for the internet and we all know it is a sea of knowledge and bullshit. Regardless, our existence in the digital world is something that is preached often and there for an item on many of our to-do lists because we've been told it's something we "should" do.
This past week, I was able to do some outreach for a local organization where I was attempting to look up individuals and companies to offer them an opportunity. A lot of the names I was given to research came from successful grant applicants (in case you did not know, grant results including successful applicants and allocated funds are published online- what transparency!). However, I struggled in most cases to find contact information for both individuals and small companies.
This. Is. Interesting.
It blew my mind that people who were being handed money to develop and produce their creative dreams are on the radar of large organizations who want to present these artists with addition opportunities, but can't, due to not being able to find...an email address? Furthermore, it was interesting that during my research of some individuals, I found out SO MUCH about them. I learned who they are, their body of work, their ambitions, their training- yet, no contact information. No hyperlinks to an artist's website or contact information in online newspaper articles, interviews or theater information on upcoming or past shows. And once discovering some artist's and company's websites the contact information consisted of their facebook page or a contact form:
With all of this in mind, I also realized something else. Obviously I recognized some artists on the list, but when I went to confidently type their name into google, I couldn't find anything. This also blew my mind: "But I know this choreographer/dancer/actor/artist. They're amazing. They get work. How can they be omitted from this contact list I'm creating?" The fact that internet is not connecting our community as much as it connects us to recipes, selfies and porn has me a bit worried. Clearly there are artists creating a living without the support and benefits of being accessible online. But is this for the best? I imagine the opportunities we miss out on by only being available via facebook. I wonder about our community and if having a more relevant online presence as a whole would change things? Would it change our way of life? Or the landscape of being an artist? The way we discover success or have an impact? Would it change anything?
More conversation to come.