The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston presents Geolocation by the artist duo of Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman. Using publicly-accessible geographic data from tweets, Larson Shindelman track down specific locations where Twitter users were when they posted on social media. Once there, the artists make a photograph from the location, connecting the tweet-stored on a remote server and readable around the globe-and the physical world. This body of work explores the connection between text and images, digital and analog, and private versus public.
Artist statement from Larson Shindelman:
"We use publicly available embedded GPS information in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts and make photographs to mark the location in the real world. Each of these photographs is taken on the site of the update and paired with the originating text. Our act of making a photograph anchors and memorializes the ephemeral online data in the real world and also probes the expectations of privacy surrounding social networks.
Twitter estimates there are over 550 million tweets daily, creating a new level of digital noise. Clive Thompson uses the term ambient awareness to describe this incessant online contact in the New York Times Magazine article, "Brave New World of Digital Intimacy." According to Thompson, "It is. . . very much like being physically near someone and picking up on his mood through the little things he does-body language, sighs, stray comments-out of the corner of your eye." Our collaborative work is a means for situating this virtual communication in the physical realm. We imagine ourselves as virtual flÃ¢neurs, ethnographers of the Internet, exploring cities 140 characters at a time through the lives of others."
Larson Shindelman, "Geolocation: Have My Location?" 2011. Thermal, California. Archival Pigment Print, 24" x 20"
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