Instead of a radiating nimbus of authenticity and authority underwritten in site specificity, we have the value of saturation, of being everywhere at once. In place of aura, there is a buzz. Like a swarm of bees, a swarm of images makes a buzz, and like a new idea or trend, once an image (whether attached to a product, a policy, a person, or a work of art) achieves saturation, it has a “buzz”. A buzz arises not from the agency of a single object or event but from the emergent behaviors of populations of actors (both organic an inorganic) when their discrete movements are sufficiently in phase to produce coordinated action—when bees, for example, organize themselves into a swarm. Such events are not planned or directed by a single focused intelligence—they are “distributed” over several small acts that, taken individually, may have no intention, or consciousness of a bigger picture. Buzz indicates a moment of becoming—a threshold at which coherence emerges.

Joselit, David. After Art. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013.