Another Uni Assessment: Media Art Project

This assessment calls on us to ‘create a work that is composed of iterated and/or repetitive procedural action’. The medium is undefined. However, after trying my hand at coding and not being able to produce the complex ideas I wanted to I think that this project will be more arts-and-crafts-y.

I was originally inspired by the image of Warhol’s Monroes.

© 2015 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Right Society (ARS), New York and DACS, London//Tate

In my mind (and as represented by the Tate) Warhol’s Monroe examines the cult of celebrity. By repeating the image, he evokes her constant presence in the media. But by glorifying Monroe by using the icon of pop culture he is not representing her, rather the part of her that was created by (and for) the media. In doing this Warhol reveals her public persona as a carefully structured illusion.

Alienation and de-personalisation are seen as a result of this mass production and the torrent of images flooding the modern world.

The idea that the media has removed her identity through the mass sharing of images raises the question that in this era of the popularity of photo sharing media platforms how do we present and construct our own personas?

Not only did the idea of the flood of images remind me of the way people flood photo sharing platforms with images of themselves, but the aesthetics of Warhol’s Monroes reminded me of the aesthetics of an Instagram profile.

Warhol’s use of repetition gives the work an inclusive quality, the works are a whole. Normally repetition means that it does not place a focus on any particular part of the composition. However, Warhol’s use of the screen-printing allows much variety in the density of the ink and in other *errors* which together leads to many subtle variations. The variations are then highlighted as points of interest.

For me that meant finding the variation on Instagram. Initially I thought of changing the filters of the image and seeing if that changed the response of people. However, I noticed that the variation that changes the most on the platform is the tags used.

So if the same image is uploaded 200 times with different tags it becomes easier to track what hashtags have the most engaged community. How does that online community respond to a particular image? How does the hashtag inform the audience’s interaction with the photo? How will people receive the images I plan to flood Instagram with? And how do they change people’s (and my) perception of me?

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