# explores the implications of what happens when social media platforms combine with artistic proclivities. The smart-phone application Instagram, available only to smart phone users, encourages casual artists and iPhone shutterbugs to share their daily interactions with the mundane with all of their Instagram followers via a streaming internet newsfeed. Filters and pre-fab pre-sets applied to an Instagram photograph allow the user to instantly edit and aestheticize the image they intend to post, often evoking film stocks and visual tropes from yesteryear (or, in Gen Y-ers’ case, the 1960s and 70s).
In this exhibit I am concerned with the skeuomorphic nature of Instagram. Our cell phone and tablet screens allow us to do millions of tasks, ranging in complexity with simply a touch of our fingers, but the design of such products means that, increasingly, all we ever feel is a slick surface. Technology has advanced so far that we can take sharp, hi-res images that strive for “perfection” with only our cell phones – but this ultimately leaves us yearning for imperfection. Filters are meant to mimic pleasant, aesthetic mistakes we can no longer achieve through technology.
At the same time, I am interested in the moment at which we decide that something is worth photographing, slapping with an artsy filter, and then sharing on Instagram. It is at that instant that the object in front of our iPhones is reduced to a two-dimensional index of the beautiful life we purport to be leading – that the object becomes nothing more than a marker to say “I was here” and “It was great”, viewed by an entire audience solely through the lens of someone else’s iPhone.
By white-washing all the visible elements of a quotidian object or scene typically favored on Instagram feeds, I reference the contemporary aesthetic meant to, ironically, strip utilitarian objects of any discernible “style” in favor of bare functionality, replacing it with the “iStyle” we are now used to. By employing the filters branded by Instagram we expose our burning nostalgia for a time when turquoise made everything look hip, and when form didn’t necessarily follow function.Fine Arts, Photography, Sculpting2012
Missed Connections is a series of simple white boxes each with a personal ad about a missed encounter culled from Craigslist, laser cut into the faceplate. When the handle on the side of the box is turned, Crisco extrudes through the text. The once legible text slowly begins to distort and becomes a totally illegible mess. The weight and viscosity of the Crisco causes it to break off and fall to the ground. These hand-crank machines are not only a literal materialization of the narrative arc surrounding the "Missed Connection" process but also a metaphor for how memories become distorted through fantasy. In either case, an event occurs and is later remembered, but the "truth" of the situation or even the initial memory of it is lost.Sculpting, Typography2012
In the second series Status Update, I am once again relegating a digital technology back to the material world, this time to explore what happens to an individual's online identity and memory of it at the moment he/she stops recording Facebook status updates. This time-based piece plays on the common assumption that various social media produce an unrelenting wave of information and challenges the viewer to consider what happens when the wave stops. Frequency becomes more important than content when establishing online relationships. At the same time, by recording everything, we are giving ourselves permission to forget or ignore. When the piece begins, a series of separate machines hang on the wall above piles of receipt paper on the floor. Each machine and corresponding roll represent all the Facebook status updates of one Facebook user from the day he or she signed up for the service to the day that he or she hypothetically stopped using the service.
Over time, the receipt paper rolls up neatly into the identical machines until the piles on the floor have become condensed rolls of paper representing the quantity of each subject's online Facebook presence.Sculpting, Typography2012
All of my saved emails, printed and stacked.Fine Arts, Sculpting2012
Video based on twitter feed of Seinfeld Episode. Every line as delivered by the 3 central characters in The Chinese Restuarant episode is converted into twitter postes and then "posted" to the video in "real-time" with the episode.Fine Arts2012