by: Tessa Vardy
The Internet can be a platform for learning, a global hub for people from everywhere to connect, it creates opportunities. All types of information is at our finger tips and a vast array of things are made possible due to the Internet. I could go on and on about the phenomenal aspects related to the Internet however there must be some sort of equilibrium. There are a number of concerns that need to be addressed. “Who knows” is a net art piece put on a webpage to force people to think about their online presence and the connotations that follow.
I decided to use a projector in my piece as I think it symbolizes the transparency we are experiencing online and how there is little place to hide. The black and white masks reflect how people are constantly hiding behind their insecurities through social media and trying to portray a better version of themselves or who they ideally want to be. The masks also suggest how our online identity could possibly be a blurred reality, what is actually behind the masks, our true raw self which is only exposed at the end of the last video is never really seen. The only freedom we have is what we decide to put on social media feeds and webpages, even though that is subconsciously influenced by social constraints. However, this freedom becomes somewhat diminished when the information we have decided to upload is constantly being used against us for advertising purposes.
I transformed both videos into a series of gifs, this is relevant because gifs play a role in Internet culture and speak their own kind of language. This is relatable to internet users. An artist that inspired me for this piece was Jennifer Lyn Morone, who turned herself into a corporation to highlight issues of data slavery. This project made me question my use of the Internet and the trace I leave behind, how my data is being used against me and raised many important questions. She made me see my everyday life from a corporations perspective. After watching the video below, I felt inspired to challange the viewer in the possible artworks I create. I believe the issues Morone is highlighting are very relevant and it is a very relatable topic, as most people are internet users.
I want to create a similar effect on my viewers, to force them to think about and relate to the points I am raising. Become more aware of the issues surrounding the Internet, as majority of us fall victim to them. By placing this piece on a webpage it helps contribute to my message I'm trying to deliver, as people who see this piece will be internet users. I’m addressing the online trace we leave behind, this includes webpages, what we type into Google or what we put on platforms like Instagram. These are the things I have incorporated into my performance piece, specifically the information that is being projected on myself.
In the last gif, the black mask comes off. My true identity is not revealed as there is another mask behind the first one. People are afraid of revealing their true self. Many insecurities are spurred on by platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Who are we in this digital age? Is our online identity a filtered version of ourselves? How is all this information swirling around the internet being used against us? This is the world we are living in, these are the questions that need to be addressed. The piece can be found here : http://igor.gold.ac.uk/~tvard001/PROJECT2/