One of the aspects of the course that I enjoy the most is the ability to work collaboratively. I do sometimes wonder what my attitude to the course would be like if Matt wasn’t here at the same time as me. Wilma has become a large part of what I do here and allows me new ways to examine my own personal practice. Having a sounding board to bounce ideas off and get an immediate, honest response has been very important to me. I know that if I come up with a shit idea Matt will tell me and vice versa. At it’s heart, Wilma is a collaborative project, both between Matt and I as well as all the different people that we work with. Georgina has often helped us out when we needed extra bar staff or help with other parts of the project so it only feels right to help out with their work where I can. When Georgina first spoke to me about her ideas for Low Res Camera Roll I was intrigued by what the platform could offer. So I pestered her for a while until she agreed to give me a slot.
I wasn’t quite sure as to what approach I would take towards the project. I’d been keeping an eye on what the other artists had been posting and most of them were sticking to the original concept of LRCR by posting everything within their camera roll in the space of a week. Now I’m not sure if it was because I thought my photos weren’t interesting enough or it was just me being annoying as usual, but I wanted to tackle the format in a different way, using it to make work alongside showing images.
With my increased use of dating apps I had inadvertently been building up a collection of source material that I could use to make work with. Each profile on an app comes with a short self-written bio about the guy, a max. 250 character introduction to the person where they try to sell themselves as an attractive, intelligent, and overall nice guy to date. Some people are much better at this than others and some actually make my skin crawl. I started collection these bios and typing them up into one master document- detaching them from the images of who they describe, something that become interesting to me.
One of the by-products of using these apps is the targeted advertising that I began to receive. One of these that particularly stood out to me was Manly. The sole purpose of this app is for men to edit photos of themselves to make them more attractive in the stereotypical toned/muscular sense of the word. For me, whose body definitely does not fit into this category- and probably never will as it’s too much effort and I like to eat- the concept of this app was ridiculous. You can completely change your image, adding biceps, a six pack, tattoos, beards, and even change your skin tone. In my head I couldn’t work out why anyone would use the app seriously because surely if you used these edited images on your profile as soon as you met up with someone the lie would be seen.
So for my takeover of LRCR I started matching the advertising imagery from the Manly app (such a ridiculous name) to some of the profile from Tinder and Chappy. They were very simple juxtapositions but for me they began the dialogue between the two strands of research. More work needs to be put into them but it’s a good starting place for me.