8.8.07

"Paul is Dead Inside".....

The image above is a drawing made to use as my profile picture on Facebook the “social utility that connects you with the people around you.” I became interested in the way that people choose to represent themselves on these profile pages. Generally people depict themselves as successful and happy perhaps in front of a famous land mark whilst on holiday. The selected image tends to capture an idealised representation; a popular, contented, well traveled sophisticate. I wanted to investigate this by capturing myself at my most private and vulnerable. In presenting a drawing of myself whilst in sorrow I reveal perhaps inappropriately my most intimate moments to a disinterested ‘world’. This can simultaneously be seen as a misguided cry for help or a negative self indulgence that contrasts with the superficiality of the favored depiction of oneself. This coincides with a constant status update that presents the ‘network’ with details of current activities. I consistently update my profile with negative or depressive updates such as; “Paul is dead inside” or “Paul is slipping away”. This too adds to the self indulgence that both contrasts with and typifies the nature of Facebook and sites like it. Below as the image appears in context.

6.8.07

facebook profile....


Research

I have recently read 'Queer Phenomonlogy' by Sara Ahmed it has has been hugely influential to my current practice. Synopsis; "In this groundbreaking work, Sara Ahmed demonstrates how queer studies can put phenomenology to productive use. Focusing on the "orientation" aspect of "sexual orientation" and the "orient" in "orientalism," Ahmed examines what it means for bodies to be situated in space and time. Bodies take shape as they move through the world directing themselves toward or away from objects and others. Being "orientated" means feeling at home, knowing where one stands, or having certain objects within reach. Orientations affect what is proximate to the body or what can be reached. A queer phenomenology, Ahmed contends, reveals how social relations are arranged spatially, how queerness disrupts and reorders these relations by not following the accepted paths, and how a politics of disorientation puts other objects within reach, those that might, at first glance, seem awry. Ahmed proposes that a queer phenomenology might investigate not only how the concept of orientation is informed by phenomenology but also the orientation of phenomenology itself. Thus she reflects on the significance of the objects that appear - and those that do not - as signs of orientation in classic phenomenological texts such as Husserl's Ideas. In developing a queer model of orientations, she combines readings of phenomenological texts - by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Fanon - with insights drawn from queer studies, feminist theory, critical race theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis. "Queer Phenomenology" points queer theory in bold new directions."