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NEWS

Studio updates, current events, and archival posts from 2014-2017.

JUST BE YOUR SELFIE: STATUS UPDATE

Pretty psyched. Despite some initial power issues and creative problem solving, JUST BE YOUR SELFIE is now on 24/7 and doing its thing. I was down there having lunch this past weekend, taking a little break, and saw over thirty people taking selfies with the piece in about ten minutes. Which is killer, since from its inception, the work was intended to be a public work of art. Meaning it had to have an immediate impact on its physical environment, and embed itself into the web. Because although the work is built out of glass, gas, aluminum and electricity; its true medium is social media and its voice is the hashtag it has become.

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I don't really think of the work as an object at all anymore. It's more like a homemade meme that urges people to interact with it and share their experiences to create more and more layers of input and feedback. It has become a simulacrum of itself. A copy with no original. An open sourced article with endless authors all looking into an infinite mirror of self reflexive reflection.

There’s nothing worse in art than ‘You see it and you know it’. Many artists seem to work from a theory that they invent, so to speak, and which accompanies them through life, a theory they never deviate from. That’s a certainty I don’t like.
— Isa Genzken, In Conversation with Wolfgang Tillmans, Artforum (November 2005)

In a great way, the work isn't even mine anymore. All I've done is set some initial conditions in motion and let it run wild like a radio ready single. If MMXIV was the album, then JUST BE YOUR SELFIE is the pop song that has far surpassed its source in popularity and reach. Which is what you want for a pop song; for it to reach people. To have a maximum amount of connection in a minimum amount of space. The sum far greater than its parts and playing on repeat. 

As a social media sculpture, the public is now responsible for its success or flaws, what it symbolizes or how its meaning is interpreted. It's already taken on a life of it's own, but how viral can it go? Is it simply a reflection of spectacle or does it pose questions about our collective identity that have yet to be answered? Is it about the object I have already dismissed, an endless stream of selfies, or the collisions implied by this messy relationship? Because isn't that what it's really about? A messy search for self? Isn't that what it means to be human?

But now that we are irreversibly in a posthuman age; it's a search for selfie that defines us. You are as much you as you are, but you're also so much more. Like a constant relationship status saying "it's complicated" we exist in as many virtual environments as we do physical and JUST BE YOUR SELFIE is simply the surrogate that expresses this messy quest in a post-everything internet age of uncertainty.

In the end, if we drop the musings, the philosophy and the metrics: it's just something that makes people stop, wonder and smile. Like a pop song. And that rules.