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Type: Journal article
Title: Performing professionalism|validating artistness
Author: Barbour, K.
Citation: Platform: journal of media and communication, 2015; 6(ANZCA Special Issue):5-12
Publisher: School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1836-5132
Statement of
Kim Barbour
Abstract: As the professional online persona becomes ever more ubiquitous, those who create them must negotiate increasingly diverse audiences and purposes. For artists, whose role is (in Schiebe’s terms) as much granted by their audience as attained by the individual, whose work is often solitary, and who do not require specific training or accreditation to claim the title, presenting a “professional artist” persona is particularly complex. By adapting the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis methodology, I have investigated the experience of online persona creation, asking what it is like to create an artist’s persona online, defining an online persona as the presentation of the self on and through digitally networked spaces, where the self that is presented is a reflection, extension and distillation of a particular individual. This paper will explore the experiences of online persona creation by eight artists from four art forms that sit outside the boundaries of the traditional art world: tattoo, street art, craftivism and performance poetry. These eight artists use a variety of strategies and tactics to both present themselves as “professionals” in unregulated (and often unpaid) work environments, and validate their status as “artist”. Drawing from (and oftentimes opposing) “the artist” as it has been defined socio-culturally, these artists have created online persona that balance strategy and happenstance, specialisation and diversification, visibility and self-protection, the self and the collective, and work and play. Understanding how these individuals experience this process of persona creation gives insight into the wider issues of presenting the self in public.
Rights: This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia licence.
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Media Studies publications

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