Having contributed two articles to a previous special issue of the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice: 'Hard to Read' edited by Dr Alan Dunn, Reader at Leeds School of Arts, current doctoral candidate Zara Worth approached the journal's directors to propose a special issue specifically exploring social media in contemporary art practice.
Zara Worth says, ‘I wanted the issue to give an overview of approaches and illustrate the diverse ways in which artists are engaging with and employing different social media platforms. Social media, in particular the platform Instagram, is a key subject in my PhD exploring value systems and meaning making online, so I saw editing the issue as a way of broadly mapping the field of practice-led research in this area’.
‘It felt really pressing to get the issue out as soon as possible - which was a challenge as academic publishing is not known for its speed - as the subject is very zeitgeisty, and with social media metamorphosing constantly I was conscious of the possibility of content becoming quickly redundant or retrospective.’
The issue spans art criticism (Zarina Muhammad & Gabrielle de la Puente, aka. The White Pube); curation and conceptual art practice (Carol Sommer; Simon Morris; Hardeep Pandhal & David Steans; Mark Staniforth; Gabriella Warren-Smith); performance and sculpture (Larry Walker-Tonks); and, poetry and theory (Paul Conneally & Gavin Wade et al; Robert Fitterman; Steven Zultanski), and covers social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Zara then comments, ‘It has been a pleasure and an insight to edit this issue, and I am indebted to all the contributors and to the journal's directors Julia Lockheart and John Wood for trusting me with this issue, and to Emma Berrill from Intellect Publishing for her support and guidance.’