Social Portrait Series
Excerpt from my Graduate Thesis, Humanity and Connective Technology, pg.53-4
My Social Portrait series uses layers of mined images from my facebook friends’ profile pictures to "amplify the contradictions that are on the rise as technology becomes an increasing part of our lives."(Allese Baker. "500 words." artforum.com / home. http://artforum.com/words/id=27700) The work makes visible the inherent paradoxes of the Net and how that reality exerts opposing forces on individuals. The figures are specific and yet ambiguous; physical and ethereal; present, but also absent and empty.The overlaying of layers suggests sheer quantity and overstimulation while serving to occlude identity specificity. The volume of imagery that was originally intended to more fully describe actually makes the figure more vague and less of an individual. There is also a feeling of loss, or that somehow the subject and viewer are missing out on something that remains just out of reach. This sets a melancholic tone to the imagery that is punctuated by moments that reference death. Time is also explored in a way that is aware of the schism between how we physically experience time and how time is manipulated or even ignored in the digital world. The successive images of the “now” are combined into a “long now”, allowing the viewer to feel a continuous presence instead of an instantaneous one... My work takes the definition [of "essence"]and asks if knowing the simplest version of someone is knowing them at all.
Excerpt from my Graduate Thesis, Humanity and Connective Technology, pg.52
"In my video piece, Noosphere, despite hovering in a sea of humanity one is incapable of rendering visible a complete and unique individual. The figures each exist as separate entities and yet become recognizable only as a piece of the conglomerate. The people pictured in that mass are actually each one of my facebook friends, the images culled from the library of profile pictures. I know them all outside of the social network (I have a very curated list of “friends” compared to most users) and yet even to me they have become a mass, a group entity in my mind."