I’m not an interesting person – it’s a truth I’ve come to peace with a long time ago, so naturally when a brief pops up where I need to take some time to look around me and take in the details of the people I interact with, where I live, my studio and my environment in general my first line of thought is, “well, shit.” Maybe I have low self-esteem, or maybe I just genuinely think I’m an uninteresting person – could be both, I don’t fucking know.
So how in hell do I represent everything about my uninteresting life? The answer came to mind fairly quickly and eventually resulted in one of the most arrogant pieces of work I’ve ever done – not because it screams “hey, look at me!” but because it was so simple in the concept and production. The answer that was presented to me a few days after receiving the DNA brief was to go look at Facebook and grab every single image I’ve ever posted up ever since the conception of my account. Simple idea, really, but I regretted it almost instantly – it’s a fucking arduous task, and if anyone ever manages to find an easy way to do it without going through every image one-by-one I will lick their boot – I mean it.
I’m a natural quitter when it comes to things that bore me, so of course I dropped the idea of making a collage of old photos – which, let’s face it, is a boring thing to do anyway – and just… gave up for a few days.
It wasn’t until I watched Catching Fire for the 300th time with my girlfriend that the next idea came to me. Building on the Facebook photo thing I decided to go down a different route – one which involved violating the privacy of every person that I’ve interacted with (or rather have on my friends list) by copy and pasting their profile pictures to one place. And then I did the same with Twitter – or one of my Twitter accounts, rather, and the results were rather troubling in one sense, and maybe deep as hell on the other.
To re-iterate, I violated peoples’ privacy by using their images without consent but at the same time illustrated how, just through me, all these people are connected through the Internet. We’ve formed a huge net, and if you think about how many people are involved and how many people they’re connected with it suddenly becomes a much larger piece than it is. The fact that my DNA brief final pieces look similar to two periodic tables is just a happy coincidence.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
-L.A. (Liam Morgan)