Image and text in relentless flow. Bits of data collapse upon themselves and memory patterns become like a hyper-referential structure of nonsense. This structures parent forms are the meme and selfie groups and feeds I consume, which bear meaning as legitimate social networks and at times put me in delicate situations with people who I have known intimately. The online proximity of memes that broadly address sex, intimacy and relationships to persons with whom I have had each of those things seems like a fertile space for exploration.
Creating predictive poems on my iPhone, mining my Twitter archive or channeling stream-of-consciousness writing, I perform a Google search of phrases. Gathering images from the results, I build digital collages. Extrapolating those collages in material space, I mirror my perceived bodily experience of online information intake.
What I find most interesting is how the image-text form of memes can be pushed to signify new boundaries of emotional intensity, as is evident in the shitpic. The works of Anxiety Sex push that intensification of layer, distortion, quality and scale to the material realm, using a base image as a starting point, which is then reiterated. A computer allows the viewer to drastically change their viewpoint by zooming in and out, which affects the viewers perception of the image as a whole in time and space. Conversely, a material collage can never achieve this. Thus, the choice to play with consistent variation of depth and scale parallels this phenomenon, allowing these pieces to cross over from the digital realm. So follows the emotional narrative.
Digital interaction sometimes seeks physical realization. Translation to irl can be awkward, fresh and loaded, bearing resemblance to digital life but experienced at a different rate. Negotiation back online requires another sort of care. Where does intimacy fit in the digital landscape? Does it exist as perception or expectation? How can I learn to accept or modify these rules within myself? How do I navigate things which seem, feel, so close and yet always appear distorted?
- Charlotte Greene, Anxiety Sex