Athletic aesthetics are a by-product of art’s new mediated environment, wherein creators must compete for online attention in the midst of an overwhelming amount of information. Artists using social media have transformed the notion of a “work” from a series of isolated projects to a constant broadcast of one’s artistic identity as a recognizable, unique brand. That is, what the artist once accomplished by making commodities that could stand independently from them is now accomplished through their ongoing self-commodification. This has reversed the traditional recipe that you need to create art to have an audience.
Today’s artist on the Internet needs an audience to create art. An aesthlete’s audience, once assembled, becomes part of their medium. Instead of creating a few, thoroughly worked pieces, the aesthlete produces a constant stream of work in social media to ride atop the wave in viewers’ newsfeeds, or else become the wave itself, overwhelming them with material.
Brad Troemel “Athletic Aesthetics” 2013