Sree Sreenivasan on the Art of Social Media

Kochi Biennale Foundation hosts engrossing workshop by tech guru on digital technology 


Kochi, July 29: From navigating its terms, trials and tropes, to tapping into its potential and reach, prominent tech pundit Sree Sreenivasan explored the challenges and opportunities the digital terrain holds for the society, and creative people in particular, at a master class on Friday.

At a two-hour workshop titled ‘Digital, Mobile, Social Lessons for Artists and Other Creatives’, hosted by the Kochi Biennale Foundation (KBF) at Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Sreenivasan also delved into how technology could become an enabler for artists and stakeholders in other media.

“The change in social media has been mindboggling for the past one decade. And it will be more dramatic and more intense in the coming decade. Though we are surrounded by various technology devices and mobile applications, we are unaware of how to explore them to the maximum,” he said.

Sreenivasan, who recently completed his tenure as the first Chief Digital Officer of the iconic Metropolitan Museum of Art, or The Met, in New York City, was in Kochi as part of a social media speaking tour across India.

In keeping with his reputation as both an evangelist and skeptic of technology, Sreenivasan outlined the pitfalls and prospects for creative people engaging with various digital vehicles as a means to market their works better and also to shape, control and further their intended narrative.

“Artists should be ‘Tradigital’ which means that they should use traditional skill sets and explore social media to promote them. This will make them stand out in the art circuit,” said Sreenivasan.

Contending that inspiration strikes when seemingly disparate ideas and fields intersect, the seasoned TED talker gave his packed audience of students and communication stakeholders a few “SreeTips” – lessons he learned from two decades of advocating the smarter use of technology.

“Repeated promotion always seems to be awkward for people and in order to avoid the same, I would suggest using a ratio of 4:1:1. In which, out of six posts, you have to put up four on general things without coming across as pushy or too ‘me’ focused. The remaining two posts can promote your project and yourself.”

He pointed out that people should be extremely cautious about posting something in social media platforms. Sreenivasan also suggested a number of mobile applications and websites which could be useful for day-to-day activities.

Sreenivasan commended the KBF for taking the initiative to bridge the inherent tensions between art and digital spaces, noting the important role played by public events like the Kochi Muziris Biennale as both a conduit for creativity and connectivity.

The workshop was supported by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, in partnership with the Sacred Heart College, Thevara.

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