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LOS ANGELES — Log onto Facebook on any given day, and it’s a daily dose of life’s dramas. Hook-ups, break-ups, drunk party photos. It can be an especially complex space for young people, as the research of danah boyd has so lucidly explored.
So a new Facebook-based project, Dorm Daze, caught my eye. London/LA-based artist Ed Fornieles created a world within Facebook of 35 characters who acted out a fictitious three months of college, with a series of dramas, like a college basketball star and math geek involved in a drug ring and the unrequited love of two fraternity guys. In the “trailer” for the project, a Gossip Girl-like character narrates the highlights of the three-month intervention.
The piece clearly blurs boundaries between how we perform a persona on social media and how actors create personas on stage, Here’s what Fornieles had to say in an interview with Rhizome editor Joanne McNeil:
Characters informed their navigation of that with your previous experience of the real world; of its codes, conventions and understandings. So in a sense, and after a certain point, you’d be neither acting nor gaming; it’s more of a transferal of skills. Yet there’s this incredible dialogue occurring, always, between our experience of fiction and our experience of reality. So skills learnt during this hypothetical three month exodus would be reapplied in conventional reality, and so on, offering you a new perspective and an enhanced narrative within your original profile. Video games, cinema and even novels are all becoming as experiences more immersive, and I think there’s a sense of our culture courting this, collapsing the fictional/real binary and looking for a new space to explore.
Social media platforms make for particularly potent fields for performance. Dorm Daze reminds me of the re-enactment of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in a Facebook page, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s performance of Romeo and Juliet, which included YouTube videos re-imagining Juliet as a web-savyy Millenial. Theater is all about the slings and arrows of daily life, a drama carried out each day on the stage of social media.
Art by Athena LaTocha, Wendy Red Star, Marianne Nicolson, Anita Fields, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith & Neal Ambrose-Smith, and more is on view through January 2022.
Unless you were already familiar with Bey’s documentary work, the horror he refers to might not be recognizable to you.
The intention behind the seemingly bizarre combination was, according to Attie, “to give visual form to the shared American and Brazilian reality of nationalistic divisions that defines our political present.”
Nowhere in the museums’ advertising blitzkrieg for the performance were we told to bring our wildfire-season masks as well as our covid masks, and covid masks don’t prevent smoke inhalation.
View work by over 40 experimental artists and collectives from throughout the Americas who contributed to New York’s art scene during the 1960s and ’70s.
Several members of the 2021 cohort identify as artists and storytellers, utilizing the power that art and narrative have on changing ideas of power.
Made possible by a donation from Amazon stakeholder MacKenzie Scott, the award is the single largest in the Bedstuy-based organization’s history.
A donation of two hundred works includes Jean-Michel Basquiat, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring, and Donald Baechler.