Are you familiar with this term? I suppose I am a bit slow on the pick-up of trendy acronyms, as I was introduced to it just last week. But it is instantaneously familiar and useful. In the event you are not already in-the-know, I will ensure you will not longer be left out.
e.g., my recent introduction to the term:
“She seems to have a penchant for surrounding herself with charismatic assholes.”
“Yeah, she seems to have a serious condition of FOMO.”
“FOMO, what’s that?”
“Fear of Missing Out.”
“Oh my god, how did I not know about that term before? Have you known it for long? How did you learn about it?”
e.g., Performance Art:
Performance Art exploits the Art World’s endemic FOMO. You have to know about it. You have to be there for the real thing. A photographic document is produced of the event—not to stand in for what happened, but to give you a taste of what you missed. You can count your friends and frenemies in the blurred edges of the audience. But don’t fret. After the selected images enter the history books and remain there for a few decades, you can claim to have been there. You’ve heard enough hearsay to recreate the event in your mind. Memories will grow fuzzy and few will remain to testify whether your presence was real or a FOMO fabrication.
e.g., between one place and another:
The value of global cultural mobility is diagnostic of our collective FOMO. In exhibition press releases, the names of the participating artists are accompanied by country codes. Preferably two or more at once: born in one place (if possible, a remote, rural, ethnic, and/or authentic geography), and living between two others (must be urban cultural centers, better at least two separate countries, and even better, two different hemispheres).
My FOMO tactic is not to stay in any single place for longer than 6 months. This way, whenever I am greeted by friends with, “Where have you been?” I am able to simultaneously provoke FOMO vacillations within myself—Caitlin, you’ve been missing out on everything here—and my friends—what has Caitlin been up to while I’ve been living the grind in ______?
e.g., Uncertain Spectator:
You have missed out. Or you will soon have missed out. You are plagued by FOMO because you have not made the journey to see “Uncertain Spectator” at EMPAC, despite the urgency of its subject and the caliber of the exhibiting artists. It is in Troy, NY, which is not so far (from some places). But undeniably out-of-the-way. You replied to the invitation saying you would attend—just as you said you would attend that exhibition in Berlin / Oslo / Torino / Shanghai / Bogotá / Miami / Deep-in-Brooklyn’s-new-Chinatown. All happening in the same week.
Thankfully, there is ample documentation. And this blog. And another exhibition opening soon in Seville, Spain, on a similar topic: “Publics and Counterpublics” at Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo. Or better yet, you should allow your FOMO to drive you to Troy to see “Uncertain Spectator” before you travel to Seville, because then you can see both. And this one was First. And you can have been both there and there.
- Caitlin Berrigan