Sophie Calle’s Address Book

Conceptually, I am obsessed with this body of work. To summarise, Sophie Calle found an address book in Paris and before returning to its owner she decided to contact each and very person contained in it to paint a picture of who the owner is.  When the owner of the book found out he threatened to sue the artist for invasion of his privacy, an agreement was later discussed.

The idea of focusing my surveillance onto one person is an exciting concept. Whether I focus on someone I know or don’t would be my first question. How do I displace myself from the judgement and information of the person I know? And how do I come across someone that I don’t? Unless I am lucky enough to stumble across an abandoned address book in the near future I think this option may be ruled out.

I do think this project presents a different way of thinking about surveillance though, rather than through CCTV this body of work is solely focused on contacts. Something I hadn’t previously considered.

Also, the presentation through a book with journal / diary entries is another aspect to consider. Although I am not confident in my writing having an element of descriptive text to layer alongside visuals is an interesting way of putting my own investigative voice into the work. Although this could be said solely through editing the visual if I do decide to make a moving image piece. Sometimes less is more.

Objectification Stories Presentation

Erica Thomas’ project Objectification Stories reinvents the way we look at the museum space and how we in ourselves interact with it.

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The artist asked exhibition goers to share their experiences about being objectified in a booth normally used to talk about objects. This footage was then fed live on a loop to a far away offsite location.

This project is particularly interesting to me as it presents different ideas about how to use space and live feed technology. Who is to say that my piece isn’t captured only during the time the exhibition is on? The whole piece could be live and instantly disappear as it happens. And is the participants webcam wasn’t live at the time of viewing it would simply mean that  they’re not presented at this time.

I think this is a really interesting concept and would take a lot of time and effort to pull off but it would break down the constructs of what makes a photography exhibition, especially if the work didn’t exist for some viewing time.

First Project Proposal

Working Title: Electrified Lives

Topic, Treatment and Audience

Expanding on the body of work ‘Division’ created for Independent Practice Exploration, I plan to create more noisy, in-your-face work in the post-internet art aesthetic, with the focus being on the nonchalant demise of the digital natives attention span.

Through the project I want to confront the mass consequences of the decline by looking more into the the post vote social media uproar from Brexit and the US presidential election. Although I don’t want the work to solely focus on these topics I want to question what role social media played in these events and the insurgence of posts in the aftermath. I will look at social media as a news source and consider how facts have to be condensed to short sentences or very brief video clips. The economic disparity and social implications of social media will play a huge role in the research and visuality of this work.

When creating my own work the content will mostly be outsourced: the overflow of content contained on social media is what I am trying to challenge and make the user contest so to add more to the tsunami seems to contradict the purpose of the project. Also, gathering available content introduces a familiarity to the viewer so the work becomes more relatable in its vibrant sense. I want the work to make the viewer feel uncomfortable and frustrated as I believe the internet has made people more passive.

The final piece will be an installation of multiple projections of video clips set to 8.25 seconds as this is the average attention span of a human, which is also shorter than a gold fishes. The work will make the viewer to want to watch the clips for longer, turning the frustration internally to their own brains for letting themselves conform to the digital lifestyle.

I would also like to explore further the idea of brain training, but make the puzzles impossible to solve in the short time the viewer is shown them, adding to the frustrative experience. Although this proposition is a slight deferral from the main body of the idea I think it will help develop an understanding into peoples thought process. And could be interesting to present to the viewer after visiting the installation as a method to combat their frustration.

The project will mirror my own personal distain for recent historical events and will be my attempt at engaging young adults in the conversation of what the internet is doing not only to our brains but to our communities.

Skills and Resources

To be able to complete this project the skills and resources I will need:

  • Video editing – although I have a good knowledge of how to use Adobe Premier Pro already I think further training and exploration with the software will mean that the final project will be of a higher standard.
  • Conduct research into audience – Branding the audience and topic as ‘Digital natives’ is extremely broad so I will need to research into who more specifically is my inspiration for making this work and who do I want the message to target more directly. I know currently I want to make the viewer question their own attention span but I question the development of this.
  • Understand my own politic – at present my ideas very much mirror my style of work; a bit scattered and erratic. At the very beginning of this body of work I really need to challenge who, what, where and why this project is important and needs to be made.
  • Projectors – the universities media loan shop has four which can be loaned but for the purpose of the degree show these may need to be outsourced due to the time frame they will be needed for and most likely four will not be enough.

Objectives and Outcomes

By creating and disseminating this body of work I hope to force the viewer to go against their first instinct when scrolling through posts online. I want them to leave the installation feeling confronted and questioning whether the short attention span does really apply to them and leave a lasting impression on them so that when they are watching a youtube video they don’t click off it as quickly as they would prior to viewing the work.

Personally, I hope that I will have leant more about curating and how to set up and present an installation piece to have the most effect. I also want to learn more about post internet art and discover more artist that have a similar practice to myself so that I can see how they’re pioneering digital technology into their work.

Becoming a Digital Leader

In the past decade, technological advances have reconfigured social relationships and enabled us to access information and communicate from a distance through email, internet shopping and social media. Although one might think that this era of less face-to-face interaction might mean isolation for each individual, we are never alone. Internet users can be watched at almost any time through the cameras in smartphones, laptops and tablets but not only limited to these devices. With most of the population owning a mobile phone it is easy for your exact location to be pinpointed.

Continue reading “Becoming a Digital Leader”