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A Colorado man spreads art across the internet

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If you have a social media feed, chances are that you've seen something that was posted by a “bot.” Short for robot, they're little computer programs that automatically post to social media. Sometimes they post highly-polarizing political content that's meant to provoke. But one Colorado man has found a way to use them for good...spreading art across the internet. KSUT's Mark Duggan introduces us to him:

Social media can be a minefield of human ugliness. Especially in the age of COVID. Political attack ads and conspiracy theories fill social feeds. Much of it is posted automatically by computer programs known as “bots.”

But they can also be a force for good. ForAndrei Taraschuk, they can help fill the world with art.

By day, Taraschuk writes code for a Boulder, Colorado tech company. By night, he creates “artbots” that post paintings and drawings from artists and museum collections.

So far, Taraschuk has made more than a thousand different accounts to distribute art. He named each account after a famous artist (Georgia O'Keeffe,Mark Rothko, etc.), or a collection or culture (Guggenheim,Arte Hispánico).

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The accounts even engage and interact with each other. It's as if the early modernistMarc Chagall had a Twitter feed and liked and shared works from the magic realistFrida Kahlo.

“It all stemmed from a desire to fill my life with art,” Taraschuk told KSUT. “Since I was spending a lot of time on social media, I thought, 'wouldn't it be nice if I could follow some of these artists?'”

Thousands of Twitter users agree.

“People love having art in their feeds,” Taraschuk explained. “I think especially these days when there's a lot of polarizing content, the content that makes you mad or angry or concerned. It's really nice to take a break from everything that's happening in the world and just look at art.”

Watch Andrei Taraschuk describe how he ended up sharing over a million pieces of art on Twitter.

KSUT COVID-19 news reporting is made possible by support from individual donors and the Colorado Media Project.  
 

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