Assessment 3

Art and Cultural Production on Social Media

Student: He Sun(Rob)

SID: 450105890

Tutorial: Thursday 6-9 p.m.



The UOS social media communication has described social media in many different characteristics as well as perspectives. It let pupils know that the social media is not only an important channel for people but also a way of life. This article here will firstly focus on the core concept of art and cultural productions on social media which are mainly based on the UCC participation strategy and then concentrates on the utility of it according to several case studies in this field, finally, puts forward the writer’s personal conclusion toward that.

Core Concept

As for the concept of art and cultural production on social media the common means of cultural production as well as art should be recognized first. According to Hinton and Hjorth(2013) the cultural production is mainly about created and recreated of culture in the form of texts or other objects in modern world, hence the cultural production on social media to some extent is just like a kind of object which is promoted in a new digital platform furthermore, although many traditional cultural institutions such as galleries and museums have accepted the existence of social media and use it as a method to encourage people to join in their exhibition, the social media is still seen as counterparty of conventional institutions so it bear the weight of social or cultural capital sometimes.

Arts on social media are mostly visual works and many artists have embraced social media as a new medium to deliver their work. However, Hinton and Hjorth(2013) state that the art on social media has four key differences. On top of that, social media art is the art where the internet plays a main role to express it. And then, as social media is a type of social medium so the art on it must have audiences. Apart from that, the content of art must be rich and it should have at least one audience who is not part of the art world. Finally, artworks on social media must have clear purposes or intents and allow others to validate and check it.

Utility and Case Studies

  1. Semester Social Media Campaign


The author’s social media campaign is BeTheFilter and this simple photograph a funnel filter all the fake news to the truth under the magnifying glass combines with texts as an online visual art, which could be regarded as the expression of vernacular creativity (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). Moreover, this photograph is on the first page of the certain Facebook community so it also undertakes the need to be a social capital to evoke public’s attention and encourage more people to join in the campaign. Apart from that, the community posted several video links from social TV and asked viewers to share their stories in the community in order to produce a short movie. These all fulfill the potential of social TV as a kind of convergence medium in the user-created content model and one of the innovative cultural production (Hutchinson, 2015).


  1. Internet Memes
  2. meme

The internet meme on social media is a kind of special art and cultural production which have the main function as cultural capital and it is not only just limited in the style of image but also express in texts or video models for most of the time. In other words, internet meme could be defined as a thought which is used participators who want to produce their imitation-based art and cultural production. According to Nissenbaum and Shifman(2015), the cultural capital is some certain cultural knowledge who get a popular position to some extent in the society and it has a strong membership-based tendency. In term of internet memes, they are always several digital products that have many similar characteristics. The top picture is a case study of internet memes. This is a series of Vine videos which are called “ Put ‘Em In a Coffin”. It was firstly created by a rap group member in 2014, which showed the producer suddenly laid down their body on the surface of a fixture or an object with one’s arm crossed. And the target objects are sometimes the hood of a car, the shelf in a supermarket (top picture) or even other people’s body on a beach. Within the first 6 months after the first video was submitted on the Youtube, It had obtained more than two million views and countless of followers who submitted their own video in the same pattern.

Regardless of the outcomes that this internet meme brings to the society, what could be concluded is it has the function of forming and providing communal belonging to people who love this action art (Nissenbaum and Shifman, 2015). What is more, the followers who submitted their own videos on social media also strengthen its role as being a certain cultural capital. Apart from that, the meme on social media also can play a role in protecting the demand of some marginalized groups or public’s rights. The image meme below sends a sense of satire toward Donald Trump’s diplomatic policy.


  1. DeviantART and Online Museum


Artists used to account a minority of people in public, which were known as social elite. And artwork usually only can find in some certain cultural or art institutions in the past. However, with the development of information technology industry as well as social media, the boundary between audience and artists are blurring. The screen shot on the top is the content and layout of deviantART, which is one of the social media platforms reflecting the tendency mentioned above. Many artists regard this platform as a medium to broadcast their artworks and a promotion for engagement or selling their productions. But Hinton and Hjorth (2013) claim that the main role of this site is to provide a place for amateurs, fans or even students to share their works and to make friends with people who have the similar hobby with you.


The second picture is the front page of an Asian Art Museum where is located in San Francisco. People do not have to apply for an American Visa in order to visit this museum instead everyone could find its all collections online. But the real art productions in the cultural institutions are much more different with simple created online visual artworks, although many museums or galleries provide the images of their collections, the visiting experience for  the audience can not equal with the physical space feeling (Hinton and Hjorth, 2013). Thus, cultural institutions always use their online visiting as a method to promote audience to engage with their physical exhibition.


From what has been discussed above, It is clear that the social media has become a key factor that influences the produce and spread of art as well as cultural production. Besides, art and cultural production on social media could boost social creativity as the distinction between creator and viewer are becoming unclear so everyone can be an artist and produce their unique artworks then strengthen the civil soft power. In addition, the cultural and art industry might also be revived thanks to that, because, with the main strategy of UCC on social media, more and more people will become an activist in many art-related activities.

However, everything has two sides, from those case studies above it is also easy to find several negative effects of the art and cultural on social media. On top of that, art productions on social media could also be a restrict of creativity to some extent as many artworks on social media are based on an imitation model so although the quantities of productions on social media is acceptable the quality or diversity of it may hard be guaranteed. Furthermore, some works in social media platform may involve some anti-social elements, once these are copied by many followers the insecurity of society will keep increasing. What is more, it is hard to supervise and evaluate art and cultural products on social media because different regions have their own different assessment standard and many social medias are cross-boundary platforms in the world so the public might be misled sometimes.


Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013). Art and Cultural Production Understanding Social Media (pp. 77 – 99). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Hutchinson, J. (2015). The Impact of Social TV and Audience Participation on National Cultural Policy: Co-creating television comedy with #7DaysLater. Communication, Politics & Culture, 47(3), 18 – 30.

Nissenbaum, A., & Shifman, L. (2015). Internet Memes as Contested Cultural Capital: The Case of 4chan’s /b/ board. New Media & Society, Online First, 1-19.

LNH (2014). Know your memes: Part of a series on Vine. Retrieved from





One thought on “Art and Cultural Production on Social Media

  1. By: Huiming Wang


    Class: Fiona Andreallo, Thursdays 12pm

    Based on the Hinton and Hjorth (2013)’s work, He Sun clearly elaborates the concept of the arts and cultural production on social media, which including the basic definition about the arts production and general but accurate description of the four key differences about the various art works on social media. In my opinion, it is phenomenal trend that social media has opened up new avenues for traditional arts and cultural institutions and artists to deliver the art work to more broad audiences. And those art works are presented on social media through different forms, like photograph, video, radio documentary, comics and some written piece of literature perhaps. But the social effect of those works on SNSs are quite different. It thus reasonable to dip into that how the social media cast impacts on the form and content of those art productions. Although not so detailed, the demonstrates of three case studies by He Sun, including semester social media campaign, internet Memes and online museum, still shed light on the impacts from social media on art production. Additionally, as in the user-centric social media, users usually have the control to what content is created and when. Therefore, I think if add the analysis of demographic of those social media users who concerns about the art production and what the impacts from them would be more comprehensive.


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