Through photomontage and videography, I intend to explore the implications of data-surveillance in relation to patterns of consumption and possession rituals.
I aim to create and develop a set of carefully worked photomontage’s and video pieces that will draw attention to the implications around data surveillance within the public domain. Additionally, I am exploring issues around ‘datafication’ and the ’digital self’ in relation to ideas around performativity, and the formation of collective and individual identities.
When creating an online profile, users have a degree of choice over what is posted and shared online; in the sense that they can tailor and shape profiles so they only display the best images or selfies and edit out or reject images that are less than flattering or undesired. Thus every day, we post and share content publically online, carefully editing and tweaking our online appearances. I would argue that everyday, we engage in performative exchanges whilst online. Within my production, I will gather collections of social media posts that are attached to specific data sets (hashtags#). Posts selected will share similar aesthetics, compositions and content (i.e. generic image depicting a hand holding a ‘Starbucks’ take-away cup).
I am interested in examining how multiple images posted under the same category frequently share similar patterns, compositional structures or appearances. Is this again, evidence of performativity within social media use? (200 Words)
I aim to create and develop a set of carefully worked Photomontage’s and video pieces that draw attention to the implications around data surveillance within the public domain. This project developed from research conducted as part of my Work Placement & Experience module, whereby I examined how commerce and consumer behaviours could become methods to display and perpetuate notions around taste, class and social identification.
A critical theorist within my research, Celia Lury declared that “goods act as sources of social identity and carry or communicate social meaning.” (2011:16). Lury states that commodity possession and gift-giving rituals enable entities to “create a personal world of goods that reflect experience, concepts of self and the world.” (2011: 15). Furthermore, Phillips (2003) notes how “consumption choices help to define the identities of both individuals and groups either at a conscious or unconscious level”.
Additionally, through this production, I am exploring issues around ‘datafication’ and ’the digital self’ in relation to ideas around performativity, and the formation of collective and individual identities.
When online, users control, tailor and shape their profiles to display preferred images whilst editing or rejecting undesired content. Every day, we post and share material publically, carefully tweaking our online appearance. Consequently, engaging in levels of performative role play whilst online.
Within my production, I will gather social media posts that are attached to specific data sets. In this instance, I will examine the digital image platform ‘Instagram’. I have consciously decided to exclusively examine ’Instagram’ as a platform due to its growing popularity and widespread usage. This will allow me to develop a focused research plan that is concise rather the broad and generalized. ’Instagram’ is home to a diverse set of users from across the globe, uniting various locations and cultures in a single space. According to Statista (2018) Instagram ”is one if the most popular social networks worldwide” and as of September 2017 “the mainly mobile photo sharing networks had reached 800 million monthly active users, up from 600 million in December 2016.” (Statista, 2018). Posts selected will share similar compositions, content and aesthetics (i.e. Generic image, depicting a hand holding a ‘Starbucks’ take-away cup). I will explore how multiple images posted can frequently share similar patterns, and appearances. Is evidence of performativity within social media use?
In selecting public posts that feature near identical visual aspects and content, I am raising awareness to issues around ‘the digital self’ and a loss of privacy whilst also playfully examining how consumption rituals shared online, can signify qualities of our identities both online and in person. I would argue that everyday-social media posts can be considered as contemporary still life through symbolic compositions and editorial choices (e.g. #New #M&S #Handbag and #Starbucksfrappe in my #BMW #M3 = Economic and Cultural Capital). Could this be considered an unintentional or considered display of one’s personal wealth or status; endorsing big-brands through leisure and luxury? I intend to explore and play with this idea throughout whilst simultaneously drawing attention to data surveillance. (500 Words)