Thursday, March 4, 2010

Artists Photo Sharing Online

I have talked about the benefit of using photo sharing sites like for artits. One can find out many useful information regarding how a particular image is received by the public. Flickr categorizes broadly regarding how the viewers come to the image. One can find out if people found the image through one's website, blog, image search engine or from Flickr itself. These can enable artists to adjust the tags or labels used, to align with the most commonly searched terms.

However, high viewership doesn't necessarily mean the success of the artwork. People might come to view the work for the purposes other than art appraisal.

Amongst my public images, the mostly viewed image is a female nude painting, which has just overtaken the top spot from a male nude painting. The third one is a flower painting and followed by more nudes, and flowers. A few days ago, I posted and blogged a photo of 5,000 naked people gathered together in front of Sydney Opera House posing for artist Spencer Tunick. Within minutes of the posting the picture online, it was viewed 12 times. Within an hour, the hit was more than 100. Within a day, it was viewed for more than 500 times. Artists should not be carried away by the high viewership and must try to understand the motives of viewers.

Below is the snap shot of my top ten most viewed images on 3 March, 2010:


  1. Same here-- #1 of all time is a piece of graffiti that reads "Need some small dick?" (24,178 views), then a frisky horse (6,193), a banana in a cocktail with some grenadine poured over the top (6,106), a tombstone with the word "virgin" on it (2,672) and Andy's heel with a pen cap stuck through a blister (2,086). There must be a bigger foot fetish/sadist community than I ever would have imagined for that last one, I guess.

    What do you make of the results of the "interesting" algorithm? ( The workings are a closely guarded secret, personified as the "magic donkey". A lot of people on Flickr seem interested in its aesthetic judgments (though it does seem to take into account things like views, so the "sex hits" will likely skew it). Whatever the algorithm is, it seems to rank graffiti pretty high-- even before my graffiti stuff got a lot of hits, those photos dominated my "interesting" list, crowding out the photographs I'd consider to have much more artistic value.

  2. I heard from someone saying that all innovations are motivated by pornography and/or military. I guess it proves the point.

    I do have serious doubts about what people are trying to get from my Flickr site. That remembered me another claim regarding the seminal novel in Chinese - The Red Chamber's Dream. A writer said [经学家看见《易》,道学家看见淫,才子看见缠绵,革命家看见排满,流言家看见宫闱秘事……] "The traditionalists saw the Yi [as in Yi Ching], moralists saw obscenity, gifted scholar saw intimate affection, revolutionaries saw repelling the Manchu overlords, the gossips saw secret within palaces ... ..."