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.
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
The Women Artists Commemorated on an NYC Sidewalk
The signatures of Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, and six other historical women artists are engraved on a small stretch of sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Met Museum Repatriates 15 Objects to India
The sculptures were all at one point sold by the disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Placed on Russian “Wanted” List
Tolokonnikova has long been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin’s regime.