Thursday, October 27, 2011
Lacanian Symbol from gunslingers19 on Vimeo.
This project examines our need to display our lives through social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and other blogging type websites. Millions of people every day post mundane statements and status updates with a desire that people will look and comment or "like" what they have written. John Berger talks about an interesting psychological dichotomy within the realm of art history that we can apply to this phenomenon: the psychology of the audiences need to view, as well as be viewed by the object of their desires. According to Berger, traditional European nude paintings played upon the wealthy owners, generally male, desire to be viewed by the woman (viewed in this sense as owned possessions), and also their desire to reveal to the world the wealth of which they own through oil paintings of their material possessions.
My question is how is this different than people in modern times taking pictures of themselves in various exotic locations and posting them, or taking pictures and tweeting about their latest new purchases or experiences which are often times exaggerated through syntax and superficial excitement or expression? In reality we post post these updates of our daily lives with the eager expectation that these posts will impress, shock, or incite interest within those around us. What's even more curious is our eagerness to look at our 'home feeds' and see what everyone else is commenting on or posting in relation to what we ourselves have posted.
There is a great sadness in the separation that has been created in technology between what people desire and what they actually receive. What we gain in turn is an odd lack of personal interaction as we respond to our peers through an isolated computer screen in an attempt to feel as if we are an active part of their lives, and they a part of ours in return, regardless of how empty and impersonal we have become towards each other.
For those interested in the formal and technical aspects of this project, I shot it with my iPhone in a mirror image of the medium most of us use to post such updates with FXF by JOBY app for the time lapse and an iPhone stand by Gorilla.