Art in Island has a brilliant solution to the problem of selfies in museums: create work that is intended for selfies. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with museums and galleries. It can be a truly wondrous experience to see the actual hand of the creator in a work instead of a reproduction. You can see things that are never reproduced and feel a direct connection to someone separated from you by centuries and half a world. On the other hand, the exclusivity and the enforced viewer/object separation reinforces the “Art is something someone else does,” attitude I despise. The trend of selfies in a museum makes this even worse, making the museum experience not about connecting with the art but turning it into Something to be Seen With. Museums are right to ban them, and anyone who takes a selfie in a museum should be ashamed of themselves.
However, Art in Island is a completely different story. The art becomes complete only in the selfie. Instead of diminishing the art, the selfie taker becomes a collaborator in the creative process. Instead of distancing the viewer from the art, the viewer is forced to think about the original intent of the artwork and if they are going to enhance or subvert that message. What a great way to break down the boundaries between creator and viewer!