To conclude…The shift to algorithmic curation signals a move away from traditional curatorial expertise and methodologies to a metricised approach, where the role of human curators is no longer about direct appraisal, selection and recommendation of art based on expertise. But this isn’t demoncratisation. Instead, data analysts and authors of algorithmic procedures, together with major platforms become central to the process. They and their devices can have profound and wide reaching impacts for art and individuals.
The effects of this can already been seen online where creators are producing media not because of its inherent value, but because it is similar to other popular work and therefore will generate hits and likes and raise their profile.
So, as crowd-patronage and media platforms act as intermediaries, as their processes increasingly align, and as they use calculative devices to mediate content, we are witnessing a change in what art is online. The alignment of platforms through interpenetration constrains what is valued, how it is valued and although crowd patronage offer ways for artists to find new streams of income it enrols them into calculi of web metrics that potentially undermines what they do.
There is a generation of culture critics who don’t see this as a problem because they don’t appreciate the quality of art being produced for online distribution. But these approaches are spreading offline too. The most prominent of which is the Arts Council who want to use metrics to judge the quality of work they funded.
Thinking beyond art, there are implications for what it means to be human within platform ecosystems and as people are judged through metrics.