From the essay by Kate Durbin and Alicia Eler, The Teen-Girl Tumblr Aesthetic (hyperallergic.tumblr.com)
How often is the creator of any work even noticed by a tumblr-er? The mere image, not the processes or the authorship of its production, is the single tumblr commodity. As we tumble through our dashboards- at a speed approaching the firing of frames in film or video- what are we looking for? If we’re talking about images of art, we favor those images which best serve to enhance our blogs as desirable commodities (the follower nexus). The criteria are as various as the 80 million tumblrs themselves but certain patterns remain constant.
1/ numbers (notes) attract numbers.
2/ the radar, (as curator of the curators) and certain super-tumblrs, can license an (art- especially new art) image as tumblr-currency.
3/ the most deserving art (in my subjective opinion) can languish without a note.
4/ even the most successful artists will struggle for tumblr-currency.
5/ the subjectivity of the individual tumblr-er is paramount (if only a myth). Each tumblr (for its creator) is a canvas in itself, and each post, a brushstroke. As poor old Oscar Wilde said, ‘Either be a work of art or wear one.’
6/ the intrinsic value of a work of art is as difficult to assign as ever.
7/ the vouchsafing of currency or legitimacy has never (neither in the critical community nor in galleries) proceeded otherwise.
8/ if an artist does not persist, he/she will never ‘succeed’.
9/ the average tumblr-er sees more art in an hour than his/her parents have seen in a lifetime.
10/ art-literacy increases hourly in the tumblr community, That’s enough of me