Twitter’s first Post Conceptual Performance Art Event by artist Judy Rey Wasserman on Tuesday, December 2, 2008, was groundbreaking. Actually creating a temporary art event where people the world over could watch all at the same time and then through the same identical media immediately respond is a new use for social media and technology.

The Post Conceptual Performance on Twitter was strongly linked to an article that was published on the day of the performance on Post Conceptual UnGraven Image’s Art & Inspiration blog. Judy Rey Wasserman is the founding artist of Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art Theory and the author of the manifesto booklet available as a free download through the web site.

While millions of people may tune into an internet or TV or radio broadcast, their immediate ability to communicate their response via the same visual medium is limited. On Twitter, any viewer can join in with a reply almost immediately, which broadens and enriches the collective event and experience.

On the day before the event notice and invitation was Twittered several times and announced on Facebook. Here is an example of an early Tweet:“Pass it on: Tues., Dec 2 at 4:35 EST Rembrandt (Psalm 22) becomes Vincent van Gogh (Psalm 113) Here. Live. Only on Twitter 9:29 PM Dec 1st

The day of the event the invitations included a link to her newly posted article. Judy Rey’s followers who she knew personally, were in the art world or interested in uses of social media were privately emailed through Twitter.

“Twitter can be seen as a canvas shared by a whole community,” says Judy Rey Wasserman. “Just as each viewer sees a work of art differently, each member of Twitter follows a different group of people and logs in at different moments. Each person’s Twitter experience is unique and impossible to repeat as the twits are transitory and ever changing.”

Social media sites such as Twitter, where people meet to share ideas and collaborate, offer goods and services, and socialize are fast becoming the piazzas or town squares of the world. Historically, communities have always placed art in their social and commerce centers.

This enhances the immediacy of interaction between artist and viewer, plus allows for viewer to viewer interaction on a world wide basis. This interaction is a part of the artistic event.

The event itself, as reported in an Comments Article at Art Fag City by Paddy Johnson, involved simply exchanging one avatar (one of Vincent van Gogh for another (Rembrandt). However, as Paddy Johnson sagely noted the information contained in Judy Rey’s article about the event, including the immediacy of interaction and response is what made the event pertinent and unique.

Judy Rey’s act of exchanging her avatar of Rembrandt created with strokes that are the original letters of Psalm 22 for one of Vincent van Gogh created with symbol-strokes from the text of Psalm 113 has significance in art history. From his early works it is evident that van Gogh was influenced by the work of the earlier Dutch Painter. Rembrandt’s religious ideas, although controversial in his time were more accepted by the time young Vincent was growing up listening to his father’s sermons. Vincent van Gogh became an evangelist for a while, followed Rembrandt’s concern for the poor, and made his first remarkable painting is The Potato Eaters, where Rembrandt’s influence is clearly seen. Both artists considered themselves to be religious painters.

In less than two weeks of active participation on Twitter, Judy Rey had drawn a following that was just over 475 people. Only a portion of these people could or would be online and logged into Twitter factors into how to judge the success of this first event. The number grew to over 500 within two hours of the event.

“I  seem to follow myself as I find me wherever I do. So I follow all of my followers as at least t we have following me in common,” says Judy Rey. Anyone with a Twitter account can follow her at http://twitter.com/judyrey

The artistic and spiritual roots Judy Rey Wasserman’s idea for the event stems from the sand paintings of the Buddhists and Navajo artists. Recently, The Parrish Art Museum, in Judy Rey’s town of Southampton, NY, presented a sand painting event by Buddhist monks. These paintings are created as temporary experience where the making of the work is as significant as the work itself.

Twitter, where the messaging and interactions are instantaneous but transient and shared by a community, is an online replication of a gathering place where Performance Art or the making of a sand painting fits right in.

One of the lessons learned from the event is that Twitter’s coding automatically edits former Twit comments changing newer avatars for older ones. This adds to the transient nature of the performance, as the record of the previous avatar is missing from its previous posts with the new one substituted. History is revised by code.

This is best shown in the screen capture in another article written by Hrag Vartanian, Performing on Twitter . This screen capture also shows the presence of Barry Hoggard on Twitter at that time. Hoggard also writes on art.

Other visual artists who follow “judyrey” were leaving posts advertising their work both before and after the Judy Rey Wasserman’s first Post Conceptual Performance Art Event on Twitter. For Judy Rey this is all a part of the event and  is appreciated, even encouraged.

Will there be more art events on Twitter? “Absolutely! Power is in the group – in us. Social media provides artists with new and unique ways to reach and inspire others. While a person might be able to afford to collect art by an artist represented by a top tier gallery, anyone can experience art events and communication with artists through the Internet. I intend to continue to explore how we can interact and use social media, including in an inspirational way.”

“Art is personal. Even in a crowded blockbuster exhibit, such as ‘Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night,’ which is currently at MoMA, the connection from artist to viewer, even in a crowded space is always personal, unique and therefore spiritual,” said Judy Rey Wasserman. “My purpose is to actually transform lives by changing how we see the world. So everyone who sees my work is special to me.”

* * *

Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art at ungravenimage.com.

Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.

Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.

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3 Replies to “Twitter’s First Post Conceptual Performance Art Success”

  1. Interesting concept.

    I consider mysellf lucky to count among my friends someone whom I study while in high school in Puerto Rico, and one of the most influential Puerto Rican artists in the twentieth century, Luis German Cajiga.

    His studio’s website in Puerto Rico is:

    http://estudiocajiga.com and not I do not get money from his sales.

  2. Interesting article. Wish I had seen the event. Hopefully I’ll catch the next one.

    Thanks for doing everything you do – and for making my own Twitter experiencee richer.

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