My work comments on the research and stands as a comment on digital media. It intends to show what individual content can not.
With digital photography, it is the horseless carriage, it is in a state of limbo. Millions of images are taken, thousands are manipulated, can we trust photography? 20% of the entries for the world press photo award 2014 were disqualified because of image manipulation and Narciso Contreras was fired for his manipulation of a photograph taken in Syria. What about the photographs that have been manipulated that aren’t found. Photoshop is a public tool that has been around from 1990 (known as display), created by Thomas Knoll (http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/evolution-of-photoshop/). Everyone has access to it, everyone can manipulate truth.
Unrecognisable taken three famous images and manipulates the faces of Audrey Hepburn, Woody Allen and John Lennon to become unrecognisable using photoshop (if they weren’t told beforehand). They were then turned into an analogue print in the darkroom and sepia toned, making them look older. Documents were created to go alongside and verify the fiction, but presented as truth.
Manipulated images ‘add the diffuse fear that perhaps we no longer distinguish between appearance and reality, reality and simulacrum, or original and reproduction’
Joan Fontcuberta, Pandora’s Camera, 97
In his work, Fontcuberta explores fiction and how photography can be manipulated to stage truth in a seemingly credible way.
Unrecognisable is a simulacrum that challenges whether we can distinguish fact from fiction using public software, using famous imagery. The medium is a tool that makes us distrust photo-journalism, but it intrigues in art. ‘Is insincerity such a terrible thing?… It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities’ (oscar wilde, Pandora’s Camera 91), manipulation in art allows us to see, but the accessibility of the medium for public can be the problem. The images create a fiction that presents this debate about digital manipulation, the hoax, the trompe-l’oeil, the skeuomorphism.
Inverted Facebook creates a tangible version of social media site, Facebook. By inverting the online world into a space that can be experienced as an artefact. Kevin Kelly argues that the internet is a copy machine, that there is no embodiment of its content. This exhibition copied the online into tangible existence. This simulation of Facebook provokes a different response to the data that is embedded online. Seeing people engage with your life’s work on Facebook in the space is fundamentally the same as someone looking at it online, but the physicality of it, and the reality it creates is a different sensation. What we put on Facebook is there for everyone to see, but we forget about what we post, our identity changes, but our data stays embedded.
Inverting Facebook makes us feel the scale of our data, our emotions and our online performance. What we don’t notice online we notice when its inverted.
The final video was uploaded to youtube for fans to see it. It shows how you can reuse content already online and collaborate to be part of the conversation. As Clay Shirky told us, everyone is a publisher, and 47 people published onto youtube to share their opinions on football events, and all of that footage has been edited into something that changes the context of it, or makes sense of it by adding context. It is a meta photography project (Fred Ritchin) that takes the ideas of appropriation. It also takes Marshall Mcluhan‘s thinking that ‘the medium is the message’, it means not that we should ignore the content, but the network and connectivity of the medium should not be ignored, because this film and ‘Life In A Day’ rely on the medium, and they show how the medium allows people to take content using a free medium and upload it to that same space without fear of repercussion, or just upload their thought about football quickly and freely. All adding to the network, but taking a step-back and examining its codes and conventions. http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/article_mediumisthemessage.htm