I’m fascinated how today’s youth appear to have abandoned the need to express their individuality. Until now, the very nature of a teenager was to rebel against the norm, to go out of their way to be different. The rebellious behaviour is still apparent, but there is a strong desire to be the same as everyone else. Not in the way that this would enable one to go unnoticed and not stand out in a crowd, but because it would mean being deemed unacceptable by their peers if they don’t conform to a particular look.
Diversity appears to have been lost, “where’s your will to be weird?” – Jim Morrison
I’ve come across a few newspaper articles on this subject over the summer, which attributes these changes to today’s obsession with celebrity culture. “Reality” shows like TOWIE might appear to emphasize the importance of looking good and being perfectly groomed, which when overdone, appears somewhat grotesque. I think that although these reality shows are advertised as such, viewers sometimes may fail to realise that, yes, the shows characters are real, they are shown in their real everyday lives but it’s television and there will be a certain level of scripting and certainly an element of editing.
I watched some episodes of “Educating Yorkshire” & “Educating Essex” and collected screen shots and images typical of the issues I am interested in. These shows are reality shows about life in secondary school and provide good examples of self-obsession.
I am currently studying Andy Warhol, as I’m interested in any links/influences he had and is still having on youth culture. It struck me as relevant that he himself was obsessed with celebrity, he appeared to mass produce art yet in fact created some unique pieces and maintained an image that could only be described as individual. Warhol’s repetitive images of Marilyn Monroe reminded me of the clone like appearance of many young girls today.
I now plan to experiment further with:
. Ink on printed images
. More Photoshop
I have started to experiment with some screen print stencils. Alongside trying those I made some silhouette figure collages using some gossip magazines. My thinking being that I am demonstrating the power of the media in our complete absorption of it.
I photographed my figures on a paper background and I was pleased with the outcome, I think they are powerful but I felt I could do more with them. I took photographs of the town centre and, in Photoshop I placed the figures and blended them in.
One of the magazine articles I used in the collages was about a young woman who has dress rehearsals for a night out. It was so extreme, she needed trial tans to find the perfect shade for her various outfits and trial hair, eyelash extensions and more. The cut out figures reminded me of those pop out dress up dolls that used to be in young girls comics/magazines. i thought it would be interesting to make an up to date version with choices of looks that are relevant today.
I’m interested in printing these models as full size versions and further experimenting.
I still intend to experiment more with my figures with Photoshop ink and screen printing and I also want to try some work in large scale.
Atists / Authors I’ve being looking to for inspiration
Barbara Kruger, Margaret Harrisson, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeoise, Annette Messager, Sophie Calle, Grayson Perry, Jennifer Chan, Hannah Wilke, Sherry Turkle
Ive been contemplating while looking at image and outside influences, how, as a bullied teenager, I used to long to dress in a particular way but longed not to be noticed and to blend in. Therefore I followed like a sheep and dressed how I thought helped me achieved this.
I’ve also been sketching out some ideas using animation to show the pressures of outside influences.
Theorist Jean Baudrillard claims that the original doesn’t matter, it’s the image that is reproduced that makes the impact. This seems very relevant to me in today’s culture with the same images being constantly churned out.
Today, the outside influences that have always existed to dictate how we behave, dress and commmunicate have more impact due to social media and the internet. The importance of being “photo ready” seems important due to the amount of photo opportunities that occur now due to cameras on mobile devices and photo sharing apps. The word “selfie” has been named word of the year and added to the dictionary recently.
Twerking has also become a popular move amongst some of the most read about pop singers lately, it has been the subject of many complaints due to the overtly sexual nature.
“The narcissist enjoys being looked at and not looking back”- Mason Cooley
I find I have become fascinated with Narcissism and how it is becoming so entwined into our culture and so accepted. I have been exploring the concept of the selfie and the need to be photo ready by experimenting with print making and found imagery. I have also been taking a selfie a day and posting to a flickr set. http://www.flickr.com/photos/samhum/sets/72157638857657035/
I have experimented with printing directly over newspaper stories onto the paper, I will be continuing this using popular gossip magazines as well. I also want to continue with my use of my photographs and found imagery, blending my monoprints with them.
I have been looking at how the digital documentation of our lives online using social media is infiltrating our physical being. public spaces are no longer limited to when we step outside the front door. Spaces we share extends beyond physical public spaces, parks, shops, nightclubs and bars-
Over the last few years we have begun to play out our lives online, documenting what we do, where we go, what we eat and how we look. We seek the worlds approval while we do all these things. Confirming our intentions with a hashtag
I want to bring reality together with our online presence, to highlight modern worries and fears born of social media and popular culture and apply them to real life, showing the pressures that online life documenting puts us under in our reality. Such as the need to be ‘photo ready’ and having enough ‘likes’ on social media posts- also the underlying consequences of what you reveal by this documenting, your insecurities, your attention seeking, that perhaps turning to wine every day is a problem everyone can see but you.
Smartphones have become the most important piece of equipment for documenting our lives- we constantly seek approval through these devices. I will be making a series of wooden blocks with a lino printed smartphone, each revealing a truth about life that really exists and not purely because a hashtag says so.
I’ve been working on a series of experiments with photos and monoprints blended together. The monoprints represent the worries/fears/insecurities we may have regarding our internet use and documenting. the photos are the real world element. I have been investigating the impact that online life has on physical, but maybe now it is all as one. Perhaps there are no boundaries!
Ideas for final project
#Photos with monoprints- photos of places/groups/people in society, an image of reality- add monoprints to it to represent our online presence and how obsessed/absorbed/more involved we are with it.
Photos with prints and pixelation, The use of pixelation to show how we can block out reality in favour of being connected online
This train of thought led to…….
I want to produce a short film, lumiere style perhaps, that will demonstrate how we can become so absorbed by our online presence that we can become detached and less interested in our reality. I will do this by using pixelation on selected sections of the film. I will not use the pixelation to prevent identity as it is commonly used, but to distort the public space that is becoming less relevant and how we have stopped being aware of what is real
earlier ideas and experiments
Film with monoprints – I tried to make this in both flash and by creating a stop motion in quick time. The stop motion was the closest to what I wanted to achieve but I decided that the outcome would be too similar to the photographs and at this point, my idea had developed further.
record conversation of people talking about impact of internet and social media
My thoughts were to produce a tactile object that felt like you are holding your phone. Clearly it’s not real but there is a real news item shown in it, in the form of a newspaper clipping. The newspaper is how we used to find out news, it was static and the constant updates just didn’t happen. I have been trying various ideas…….
*Wood phones with newspaper-I like the combination but want more of a ‘one piece’ feel ✔
*Wood block with lino print phone and newspaper article-spray mount-the spray mount left wrinkles✔
*Wood block with lino print phone and newspaper article glued on with glue stick- this is more what I had imagined it to be.✔
*Mono printed phone onto wood-I’m not as keen on this effect as much as the lino print✔
*Acetate with phone printed on over a newspaper article✔
*Paper mâché phone- I’m still experimenting with this as Im excited by the concept of having a phone made of a material that used to be our main source of information about the world. I firstly made a mould from mould making clay. This didn’t work out as I had left the top too open and the mould widened during curing,basically because I couldn’t leave the wood block in the mould while the clay was in the oven. I then made a successful one with siligum. The first attempt at the paper mache phone wasn’t what I had imagined as I had wanted to be able to see that it was made of newspaper and I had pulped it too much. I have made another which was far more interesting as there are newspaper patches.
So far have tried monoprinting onto the paper mache phones using homemade carbon paper- it wasn’t very successful, I want a more solid, bolder finish. I prefer the use of the lino print and the newspaper, I will try this next on the next paper mache block.
*wood phone with monoprinted iPhone and hint of news headline. I’m quite excited about this idea as I’ve come round to the thought that the whole news item isn’t necessary
wood phone with monoprint using carbon paper- this produced the most detailed results and I can include smaller print from the newspaper.
I have contacted artist Jeroen van loon about my work and taken part in his life needs internet project.
I started with an experiment of wooden iPhone 4 blocks and began by sticking clippings of news onto them. The idea being that the news was real but limited to that one block of wood, highlighting our dependance on these devices for never ending information. I further experimented with paper mache as I had an idea of using newspaper pulp to make the phones, the thought of the news being in the phone, but unattainable was an exciting idea. The end product really didn’t live up to my vision and by the time it had dried ( really ages) I had already become enamoured with the wood.
I used lino to cut out the iPhone front that we are familiar with and began experimenting with variations of print on paper, print on wood etc. I was mostly unexcited by this and knew more delving was needed.
I tried a more tactile approach and tried lino printing onto acetate and placing over the newspaper on the wood. this hinted at the real feel of a touchscreen, but it lacked the depth I was looking to create.
I moved on to print directly onto the wood making carbon paper from black ink that I monoprint with. The effect was rich and exciting, I was able to print headlines straight onto wood. However, I was unable to print the detailed text as the ink couldn’t be controlled enough. I bought some carbon paper and found this enabled me to print detailed images and text in a way that the other ink method couldn’t.
- The idea behind my film is to use pixilation to show how disengaged with reality we have become at times due to our device dependency. We turn away from our physical environment without a second thought the moment our device calls for our attention.
- This can be momentary as we receive a text or call, but it can be a more consequential event such as demands for attention via an online presence which can become more important to us than our own life. From this stems the question “what is our reality? is it that version that we view through the world our device portrays and is this one the one that matters?”
- I decided on the mosaic tool as this represented perfectly to me what was causing the distraction. Pixelation is most commonly used to disguise the faces of those who can’t or don’t want to be identified. I want to establish the link of hidden identity to the concept of an online presence that has many undertones of both keeping elements of a persons identity hidden and an essence of revealing too much about oneself.
- Originally I used the pixilation to obscure the reality we were being distracted from but I felt there was more to be discovered and it became clear to me that I could make my point more lucidly, I just had to find how….
- I want to show how the world we view through the device has become more important an environment than the physical one, so I pixelated the whole area except for a device shaped hole through which we can see what is happening.
- I have tried various different things with film to find the best way of demonstrating what I mean
- Filming through phone
- Filming while moving
- Showing multiple films at once
- Blending films together
- Filming Lumiere style
- I decided on the Lumiere style of filming as it establishes the film as observational rather than a film that I am participating in.
- I will join together these observations and make a film of between 5-10 minutes
I was happy with my experimental films using pixelation and the device shape spaces, but I felt that there was more to be explored.
I want to show how the world we view through the device has become more important an environment than the physical one, how we can be distracted beyond our control (while we are switched on to it) by trivial matters or by pressure from contacts and “Friends” who demand our attention. I wasn’t keen on my experiments I made with filming while walking along, as I felt that this was putting the focus on my distraction. However, as I continued trying out adding the monoprints to the moving image, (an earlier idea I had dismissed due to it being similar to my photographs) I found that it demonstrated distractions we either suffer or welcome as we go about our day.
I have decided to show 30 phones.
I wanted them to be more of a temporary installment yet still neat and permanent enough to not go missing.
I thought if I attached a piece of board to the wall, I could then attach the phones with Velcro.
I then have the freedom to move the phones around and change the information once installed.
I will need stronger Velcro and I will attach them differently.
The ipads, up to 10 of them, will be on a plinth.
I have decided to print several of these and I will move them around the walls to see how they look best, I think three to a board will be enough.
I pinned up the prints three to a board and decided I don’t like it they look too detached from each other more so as I had some on the end wall.
I want them to be more of a single piece so I will be re pinning over the weekend.
I am much happier with my space now, it looks exactly as I had intended.
My work is about the way social networking and our online presence is becoming a more prominent identity than our physical one, also how we are becoming more and more dependant on our devices and the world viewed through these devices is seemingly the world that matters most.
Is there no difference any more between our online presence and out physical one, is it all blending into one reality and do we care?
I have four seperate pieces,
# a series of photographs that shows how our online presence impacts our physical being.
Never alone, self obsession, the importance of how we show ourselves to others and portray our public identity
# A piece containing 30 mobile phone size blocks of wood each containing a printed news item, this work is intended to demonstrate our dependence on our devices on which we depend on as a source for all our information. I have created a real news item on a “device” that does not allow any further searching outside of the boundary of the object.
# I have created wooden iPads to complement this piece, as a seperate piece- I intend for them to be picked up and looked at.
# My original intention for my film was to show how our online presence managed using devices was distracting us away from reality. There are still elements of this in the film although it has now evolved and now displays how the reality that is most prominent is the world as viewed through a mobile phone, the film shows momentary distractions, pressures from “friends” and tender moments from the physical world.