Viral activism: art form of our times

Artist responses to Charlie Hedbo, creative protests to the Ferguson verdict, and a mattress performance on US campus have gone viral creating a new generation of art activists.
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Harvard medical students stage a die-in 9 December 2014; via Instagram @AshleyBSunshine

Artists have long addressed social, political, gender and racial issues through their art. So what is new? In one word – technology.

The Internet has become a performative community that extends, and completes, an artwork making social media a key medium for many artists working in, and responding to, social issues

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina