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Interested in the social intersection of art and American culture Jeff Gates is constantly exploring new platforms with which to engage the public. In 1999 he was the first artist to use eBay, by auctioning his demographics to the highest bidder. In response to 9/11 he created Dichotomy, It Was a Matter of Time and Place, a 9/11 storytelling project. This website was a finalist at the SXSW Interactive Festival. In 2008, to the chagrin of even his most ardent supporters, he used Twitter to tweet his root canal live to dentists across North America. Since 2010, under the guise of the Chamomile Tea Party he has been remixing World War II-era propaganda posters with new text about the rancor so prevalent in contemporary American political discourse. And in the months just before the 2012 election he purchased ad space in Washington, DC's subway to extend the reach of these messages.
He is the Lead Producer in New Media Initiatives at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2005 he proposed and helped launch the Smithsonian's first blog, Eye Level. He has written about social media's effect organizational structures. Confessions of a Long Tail Visionary speaks to the culture shift taking place as organizations increase their reliance on social media. And his follow-up piece, Clearing the Path for Sisyphus, discusses the transformative effects social media has had on our relationships with our co-workers as organizations move from single voice models to multiple voice interactions.
And, last but not least, he represents the male gender in his family of two daughters and wife. This requires his communication skills be up-to-snuff on a regular basis.
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