John Michael Riva Jr.’s endeavor, Loading… Journal asks its viewers the question: As technology continues to improve people’s accessibility to art, how can we preserve the vital relationship between viewer and Fine Art? The bi-annual photo journal hopes to change the way today’s generation looks at art.
The ability to share and interact with new content is currently at an all time high, and it’s still on the rise. Platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and even Facebook, are drastically changing the way we stay “in the know.” These social media giants are actually taking on large roles in the Art World by showcasing work to a greater audience outreach.
“Look, I’m not against the use of any digital platforms for promotional use and exposure for artists,” says Riva Jr. “We are all participating in it. I do however feel that we need to be careful with the direction we are heading in for the next generation of artists who seem to be more concerned with the amount of followers and likes a person receives rather than the message and voice of their own art.”
Riva Jr. believes that accessibility to art is at an all time high, which also means that the amount of content being ‘published’ is at an all time high. To clarify, easier accessibility allows for more content to be shared from the artist to viewer. What occurs can be called “digital content overload.” The concern is that down the line, digital outlets will become overloaded with promotional content, causing artists to lose their intentional voice in the scramble of work. Riva believes this is where Loading… can play a role in the aid to this dilemma.
“This idea came to mind for artists and art lovers to use as an outlet to share and uncover new art without the mess that can come with social media. I feel searching for art on something like Instagram can be so ‘hit or miss’. It’s not necessarily a “fix” to the issue but more of a small solution to a larger issue. I’m not against using social media as a means of art promotion. As an Artist myself, I notice that something is missing here. I guess you could call it a middle ground since you do have to submit to the journal digitally.”
Twice a year, Riva Jr. plans to curate and publish a selection of artwork into a physical journal ironically titled Loading…. Volume 01 of Loading… consists of a collection of Contemporary Landscape photographs by 9 featured artists. The photos are beautifully paired, complimenting each other and playing with different ideas of travel and youth exploration. The artist’s photographs are varied, displaying visual insights of youth exploring America with a modern contemporary feel. The theme of “Contemporary Landscapes” translates into an escape from our busy, overstimulated world for a brief moment, or however long you decide to sit with the photos in the journal.
Volume 01 of Loading… sheds light on the intimate relationships humans have with their natural surroundings and features works by Joshua Haunschild, Sinziana Velicescu, Cyrus Sutton, John Michael Riva Jr., Zach Hellmuth, Jackson Krule, CJ Heyliger, Joshua Anderson, and Emily Kinni.