Why an Instagram Mini-Marathon?

People always ask, What is ForYourArt?

The best answer is this: It's always evolving. We aim to catalyze the nimble, nonhierarchical, and independent spirit of Los Angeles. Like the city itself, we embrace the freedom that comes with eluding definition. ForYourArt seeks to advance a spirit of patronage and a belief in art as a context for dialogue and discovery. This summer, keeping with its fluidity as an organization that shape-shifts, ForYourArt's website and space (6020 Wilshire Boulevard) will transform to further serve audiences and to accelerate art engagement and support.

On July 26, curator Hans Ulrich Obrist will join us at the Million Dollar Theatre, in downtown Los Angeles, for an Instagram Mini-Marathon. In keeping with ForYourArt's belief in art as a vehicle for diverse conversation, the event will focus on Instagram, which Obrist joined in Los Angeles at the encouragement of writer Kevin McGarry and artist Ryan Trecartin. Artists and special guests from the fields of art, culture, and technology will join Obrist as part of the Mini-Marathon panel. After all, Instagram is an online platform that collapses a vast variety of creative impulses into one specifically undefined, unbounded space. Guest speakers will present photos from any Instagram feed they wish, to illustrate approaches and processes for using the app, and to share how it functions within their individual artistic practices. Other points of discussion will center around who to follow and whether Instagram is a personal, social, or artistic space.

Image courtesy of Michel Gaubert (@michelgaubert)

Obrist conceived the idea of the Marathon in 2005, in Stuttgart, and the very first Interview Marathon took place in 2006, alongside architect Rem Koolhaas, at the Serpentine Gallery, in London. Reflecting on that day, Obrist told Nancy Waters of AnOther, "Everybody was very excited because it was like an open-air school, where people slept in the park and in the morning woke up and listened to things." Since then, a number of other Marathons have been organized, guided by Obrist's idea that "to understand the forces that are effective in visual art, you need to look at music, cinema, dance, theater, opera, architecture, science, and everything else." These Marathon events "produce communities" by providing an open forum for discussion about the integration of various types of contemporary art in contemporary culture. The Marathon becomes a space for the meeting of science and art, technology and culture--just the kind of interdisciplinary exploring that drives the evolving projects of ForYourArt.

The Instagram Mini-Marathon comes at a particularly prescient time in the history of ForYourArt, as it coincides with our newly designed website, GuideForYourArt, which represents a new phase of nomadic programming across Los Angeles and beyond. GuideForYourArt will feature virtual billboards, events (separated by neighborhood), filtered "classifieds," and a "WWW" section--a special guide dedicated to art online. As it enters its seventh year, ForYourArt will continue to create opportunities for dialogue, introspection, interaction; meeting places to explore how artists relate to, and reflect on, contemporary life.