Ellen Sheidlin: “Social Networks Have Changed the Lives of All People on the Planet, Their Aesthetics, Relationships, and Traditions”
Ellen Sheidlin is a multimedia artist with her own “survirtualism” style. She started her artist career in 2019, being involved in art photography, video, painting, sculpture, and performance. Ellen has already held exhibitions in Japan, France, the USA, the UK, and Italy.
Please tell us how did you start your art activity?
It was a strong adolescent demand for aesthetic protest. I’ve always strived for a strong personality in a rather grey and uniform regional urban environment. I had a strong desire growing inside of me to surprise, shock, and focus attention. Social networks are just a tool that turned out to be at hand on time, and I started my journey fulfilling this colored monster, sacrificing human emotions in the comments and on the streets. Given the Soviet experience, Russia has not yet formed a mass visual flair, everything that is new in art and fashion is being condemned, and I am such a strong irritant that broke through the first wall and even seemed to unite. Only a boundless passion for an idea and the courage to implement it can change people’s consciousness in my country. I believe in a soft revolution.
What inspired you at that time?
There is a science to derive inspiration. One really needs to be careful in choosing where to collect the puzzles from, as sometimes the source can be very destructive. In this flow, one needs to feel the heart and take only what is distracted by a strong internal impulse. I was looking for the right vibration for a long time; in the early stages, I took everything that seemed interesting at first glance. Often these were paintings by Japanese contemporary artists, American thrillers and horrors, books of classical literature, as well as millions of pictures on Instagram and some photo resources.
Where do you get ideas for your projects?
Now I feel my subjectivity (independence) of mind and fantasy to the full. I don’t need an external search, and every idea is plain to see. I just have to stretch out my ethereal hand, arrange what I outlined with a pencil on paper, collect props and a team if it’s a photo, or
choose brushes, canvas, and paint colors if it’s a painting. Although in a complicated world, it is impossible to be constantly in a closed network of art production. There are such complex and powerful events that leave no choice and forcibly open one’s eyes, and given an unusual way, one loses a sense of peace and comes into conflict with a part of the world they belong to. It became important for me now to reflect and sublimate this pain through art, to express my position. In the beginning, you are horrified, and then you try through your abilities, through creativity, and art – to help people.
What is your experience in the NFT area?
For the first time, I heard about NFT in 2021 and immediately realized that this technology was just right for me. It is completely indicative of me. I already made my first sale via the New York digital gallery in the same year, which presented the world’s first NFT exhibition in an offline space, where I was presented among other artists. As I studied this technology, I realized that it’s not enough just to turn all my archival works into a line in the blockchain code and sell them for millions of dollars. It requires a deep and balanced approach, a strong investment of myself and time, and creating a specific launch of an art collection explicitly tailored for these tools.
What are your impressions and outlook on this market?
It is impossible to talk about the future of NFT technologists omitting mention of cryptocurrencies, metaverses, and web3, as all these are links of a single chain that is still in its birth stage. We are not even at the beginning, and we are at the very birth of this world, which will definitely be a revolution for all spectrums of our life. As with bitcoin, crypto art will be in a fever over the next ten years, throwing down from one extreme to another, causing criticism, hatred, and thousands of questions. I believe I don’t even doubt that it will become normal very soon from the realm of fantasy. Institutional changes will come there, expertise will emerge, the art value will be more meaningful and rationalized, and labor and talent will become the core grounds for big sales.
What is the impact of social networks on the art industry, and how do you evaluate it?
The total impact of social networks on the art industry! Social networks have changed the lives of all people on the planet, their aesthetics, relationships, and traditions. It continues changing while the artist (curator, museum, gallery, critic, art expert) just responds, reflecting this reality through themselves.
How much time do you spend on your Instagram blog?
Instagram is not something I spend time on; I spend time creating, thinking, and producing art 24 hours a day, but social networks are becoming a tool, or we can also call it a platform for publishing. This is also a great opportunity to come together based on love for art and create a community where I already have several million members. Instagram provides access to this collective identity with a single common formula of love for the bright, but with such different languages, appearances, and cultures.
How do you see the future of art in the digital world?
The digital world means new opportunities: more possibilities and wider imagination. Even if the meta-world immerses us in separate capsules with the provision of nutrients to maintain the functioning of the body shell, and our consciousness remains in virtual reality, I will still remain a person with desires and a passion for beauty.
Whom do you follow? What are your TOP 5 influencers?
I am looking after striking art projects and artists who fulfill themselves in crypto art. I find quite interesting an experience in this area, such as Daniel Arsham, James Jen, Ines Alpha, Imma.gram.
What is the level of influencers’ responsibility for the content they publish?
Responsibility can only imply the influencer’s image and reputation before the audience. This is important, but no one has the right to forbid saying or doing something. I advocate for complete freedom in all manifestations – from words to art. One cannot dilute the responsibility, and even if the subscriber has committed some kind of violence under the influence of a person he follows, this is exclusively his responsibility.
What do you think about the current situation in the world?
Power holders make money from people’s suffering, pushing them into hatred and provoking violence. This nightmare will continue for a rather long time, and it is impossible to live with constant internal stress. It is necessary to create harmony and peace within the limits of possibilities one possesses. I see today’s moral right on the side of those who were attacked, those who defend their home. I do not support the war against Ukraine. I condemn the aggressive war against Ukraine started by the President and Government of the Russian Federation. Any aggression generates aggression. And what is happening now will be reflected on everyone, regardless of citizenship. I am sure that many of my fellow citizens have the same opinion. But unfortunately, they cannot say their opinion, and they cannot be heard.