For Assignment 4 the student is asked to produce a mind map regarding digital identity and create a brief with specific themes your work is addressing or what your work is attempting to communicate and
• a list of the practitioners you’ve looked at in relation to this assignment
• a bibliography
• a brief self-evaluation
As the mind maps show, I have spent some time examining different aspects and areas of identify within digital culture. The multiple mind maps created demonstrate that the concepts are multitudinous, unique to each person and are very individualistic as they contain the thoughts, ideas and concepts of the individual.
Once the mind maps were formed, I examined them all to see which direction I thought I should focus on and then created my final copy. I planned to use this to form the brief for this assignment and for assignment 5.
A link to an Adobe PDF version of the Mind Map is available below:
The assignment brief I have given myself is to examine how isolation during this pandemic has driven people like myself to great amounts of introspection and examination of one’s own mental and physical health. These themes drive the project to examine who and what I have become as a disabled adult and how having a digital lifeline through not only social media, but online groups, gaming and research, has helped with the isolation and the lack of contact with family, friends and social interaction.
Certainly, in the pandemic, people have had a lot of time for introspection and to find new hobbies and pastimes to consume the passing days. This is something that disabled people, or those with mobility issues have been coping with on a day to day basis for many years. Now that the general public are having to cope with these issues as a result of the pandemic lockdowns, the issues are gaining more publicity, but the impact on disabled people has once again been ignored and driven into the background.
I intend to produce a series of self portraits using these themes with the intent to finalise in assignment 5 a number of images influenced by dadaism, surrealism and photomontage. Due to a lack of personal family photos, familial images, diaries, and photo albums I will be introducing lost images into the work.
Amongst the artists influencing the work are
• Francis Bacon,
• Dona Marr,
• Claude Cahun
• John Stezaker
• Eva Stenham
• Erik Kessels
• Peter Blake
• Joh Heartfield
• Man Ray
• Linder Sterling
The main driver for the influences are the collage and severe surrealist manipulation of their works to produce striking non standard portraits and images.
For example John Heartfield with “Whoever Reads Bourgeois Newspapers Becomes Blind and Deaf: Away with These Stultifying Bandages!” (1930) and “Zum Krisen-Parteitag der SPD” (1931)
As well as the works of Hannah Hock, again within the realm of surrealism and portrait, but with a greater montage look and feel to the works.
So far I have started to build together a full set of contact sheets that I can use as a jumping off point for creating these works. While these images will probably not feature in the final works I have included a lot of the self portraits and other pieces of work that I have gathered together.
These are gathered together in a multi page contact sheet PDF and can be seen here:
I have also included the multi page contact sheet of found images, this is the current set, which is still growing as they are scanned, so is not representative of the final set.
These can be found on the link below:
Work in Progress
I have already produced a number of working images, some of which are part learning and practice of skills and some are conceptual ideas which I may work towards final prodcuts.
As stated these are works in progress they do not reflect the work being submitted as Assignment 5
I struggled with containing the ideas and writing within the boundaries of the course material. I find that mind mapping is not always the simplest and straightest route for me, given my learning difficulties. In this case I produced multiple mind maps covering the subject, but the main theme was difficult the nail down. I found that I had to examine each mind map in sequence as I produced them to see where I was going with the concept of digital identity. I then focused on only a few areas from one of the earlier mind maps and then came up with the final version that I felt best defined the direction of the brief. Producing a self brief was much easier this time and it helped to firm up the mind map as I was able to curtail the map within the boundaries of the brief. I feel that the surrealism of the current situation has also helped form the brief; as an artist excluded both from society due to disability and further excluded from society due to the pandemic lock-downs, I see concepts that I asked for and was refused, suddenly and easily spring into existence when the requirement now applies to everyone and not just the disenfranchised.
As with previous works regarding my own self image I have again struggled to get a toehold on what exactly I was trying to communicate. Not having the ability to access some of the research material and galleries around due to the lock-down meant that I had to use both the books within my own library and the research material available via the internet to finalise a better concept for communication.
Previously when I attempted some of these ideas, they failed simply due to me not having the skills nor the confidence to complete the work. This time, however, with the skills learned during the course so far, I am more confident and believe that I am able to finally produce the works to the level that I want.
I am still working to furthering my skillset as I feel that it will help me produce better final works for assignment 5.
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