How are today’s artists navigating the social networks as un-gendered creative beings? Does this un-gendered cyberspace approach serve as an opening to new artists being given exhibitions without the stigma of a gallery trying to fill its shows by weighting male and female work in the space? Are artists experiencing more freedom in their work by not being tied to a gendered viewing (there was a time, for a simple example, when male artists made very large paintings and women were deemed less of an artist if they did not compete in the same scale)?
Not only do the social networks create an un-gendered persona but it also allows information to be shared more freely then it has in the past. And this freedom is unconcerned with gender – if you can watch the how-to video, then you can probably complete the task – there is no “you can only accomplish this task if you are a female” kind of limitation imposed. Hence, artists today are learning on a much more broad scale, and the work is becoming less discernible in terms of gender (both in terms of the work itself as well as the hand that created it).
What does this mean for the future of the practicing artist? What will the qualifications be to determine worthiness of show exhibition? In the scheme of all things art historical, there has always been a gendered viewing of art work, the artist’s hand from which the work was created, and the spectator of the work. Without this historical starting point, the contemporary art world will have to find a new stance from which to approach works of art, perhaps even a new vocabulary from which the next generation of artists and society might re-fashion the history of art and the artist.