Tammam Azzam doesn't claim to be a representative of the Syrian people, but neither does he want to be treated as an individual. He wants to be one his fellow countrymen. And yet, as an artist, individuality is a necessity if one is to make a living. Perhaps that is why his first solo exhibition in London, I, the Syrian, a collection of surreal digital collages, bristles with defiance, paradox and tragedy.
Is Emin right? In a world where we spend an increasing part of our lives staring at screens, could Digital Art give us a moment to "think about things we feel"? Can it rescue us from the constant commerce by communicating to us in the medium of our time, or is Digital Art simply a poor substitute for The Real Thing?
Last week I went to James Bridle's studio in Shoreditch, London, to interview the author and instigator of The New Aesthetic. He's since closed down the tumblr site that gave the world so much to bark about. The project isn't over but the time seems right to ask - Why should we care?