Closer than we thought


Peter McKay interviews Pat Hoffie about her works in the exhibition ‘Social Networking’.

While researching ‘Social Networking’ I came across the writings of Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler in their book Connected. Soon their thinking became the formative influence for my project. Together they illustrate that much of our behaviour, belief and emotion is determined by our surrounding social context: that is the behaviour of our friends; our friends’ friends; and our friends’ friends’ friends.  Critically, networks that extend beyond this have been shown to be too weak to be directly influential. In this three minute video the authors introduce their research very succinctly.

Placing such strong emphasis on social connections as a determining factor in our behaviour contrasts with the sense of individualism that often sustains the arts and culture. Moreover it may suggest that artists may be of greater influence on their audiences and community than is often suggested. It seems we might all be closer than we thought.

I recently spoke to prominent Brisbane artist Pat Hoffie about her works from the Gallery’s Collection in ‘Social Networking’,  and you can watch this here. We will also be ‘In Conversation’ in the exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) at 2:30pm on Thursday 29 March 2012. Why not invite your friends and your friends friends…