To be honest, I hadn’t painted in over two years before this project.
This is a large part of the reason that, when I learned we would be painting a self portrait based on our digital identities (or at least how we see them personally), I wanted to come up with a concept that didn’t include common digital signifiers. I wanted a concept in which I could really go wild with paint just as a medium since it had been so long, and I’m not patient enough for straight-crisp-computery lines.
With that being said, I began thinking about who I am on the internet, and I found out that I am really no one at all. I hardly even post on my personal social media accounts (this awareness drove me to try and post more on instagram throughout the project). I watch a lot of streams and scour forums or read articles practically all day long, but I never really feel up to the commitment of even commenting or participating, so I thought about painting a literal representation of myself as a ‘lurker’.
Sort of in the same vein, I spend a lot of time thinking (project or not) about how I am taking in new information from the internet literally all day every day. There is always something more to read or hear about, I cannot tear myself away from it. Sometimes the internet feels more real and visceral than the actual world.
I felt like a spot on literal representation of this strapped-in feeling was that scene in Kubrick’s film adaption of A Clockwork Orange where Alex is tied to a chair in a straight-jacket with his eyes pried open. They force him to watch movies of “the ultraviolence” and he cannot look away. At first he is entertained, but it quickly becomes torturous.
I have chosen to paint myself right at that point in the scene where Alex is crossing over from loving it to being sick.