Panel: The Madness of Methods: Emerging Arts Research Practices
As we spend time exploring the Internet, what digital remains do we unintentionally leave behind? Based on this information alone, how would a stranger construct the story of an individual’s history? Like an archeologist might collect data and examine physical remains to create a plausible human history, what might be derived from the examination of digital remains? Double Shadow is a conceptual film project that seeks an answer to these questions. The work takes the form of short biographical film based on “factual” information gleaned from the Internet? The title Double Shadow pays homage to conceptual artist Sophie Calle’s piece, The Shadow (1981), in which Calle asked her mother to hire a detective to follow her, notate her daily activities, and photograph her. My digital double, my online ‘shadow’, tells a different story than I do. I maintain several websites, including one that documents my professional career as an artist, and I am a member of over a dozen social networking sites. Through a proxy, I hired an investigator to investigate my life using only the Internet as a resource. With the text and images uncovered, the investigator created “my” historical timeline. The data that was gathered was forwarded, via another proxy, to a screenwriter who used it to develop a character and write a screenplay. I then held a casting session where I searched for an actor to play “me.” Ultimately a cinematic artwork was made that raises and addresses issues about the blending of fact and fiction; the construction of identity or biography; surveillance; iterative processes, recorded human action and the creation of meaning; privacy within public space; archeology; archiving; and authorship and decision-making both online and within an art practice.
- Jeanne Jo’s artistic practice and research investigates the systems of rules and patterns that emerge through iteration in the art making process. In her performance art work, she examines and analyzes the interaction among structure, chance and repetition. She will present research based on a new project called Double Shadow that explores the digital traces left unintentionally through Internet usage. Her methodological focus is to speculate on the formation techniques of performance archeology.