“Online presence” used to be a public relations catch phrase. In the last 3 years this strange concept revealed its very real powers. Google based searches became official introductions, performed shortly after, if not before, the actual handshake. We have entered the era of identity superstructures: complex sets of search engine outcomes based on our activities, popularity, name itself, purposeful efforts and a whole bunch of random data fluctuation. We are growing second skins, made out of words, links and images: exciting, addictive and sometimes completely meaningless.
“blogger skins” is a project based on time-specific capturing of image Google searches. The community most sensitive to this new phenomenon, and par excellence conceptually most related, is the world of pro-bloggers. For this project I chose five art bloggers: Tom Moody (tommoody.us), Paddy Johnson (artfagcity.com), Régine Debatty (we-make-money-not-art.com), James Wagner (jameswagner.com) and Joy Garnett (newsgrist.typepad.com) and performed specific image searches on their names. The thumbnails of first 100 images were imported (in the order of appearance) into an HTML editor and compiled into an image map, reflecting the original Google layout and popularity of search items.
The mosaic-like products are super-portraits of bloggers, reflecting not necessarily who they are as human beings, but how the Internet “sees” them. Special thanks to Paul Slocum, who made me realize that, the only way to reference nonlinearity is through capturing its linear representation.
Leery because I stopped looking at what Google said about me a while back--no, really! Changing URLs and the inevitable, ongoing confusion with a cricket player down under makes the whole subject cringeworthy. This blog is linear and I control it absolutely but any cyber-snapshot of it, especially the divine Google's, is inevitably chaotic and humbling. As an artist who also writes I have a running competition with myself. Whenever the writer gets ahead I do something self-leveling like leave my gig with a national magazine or change a URL I spent years building cred for. Google is oblivious to this struggle, and displays only the wreckage, plus other completely random shit. Having said all that, I like what Ramocki says but vaguely wish I didn't have to be the proof.