It is week 5, and only now do I feel like I actually understand where my own project is going. In my first week focusing on research I think I made the mistake of over complicating things. I found artists that were doing very similar things to what I wanted to do but never really took the time to think about what it was they were doing, and why I liked it. In order to replicate ideas conveyed by other artist I first need to pinpoint what those ideas are.

When simplified, I think the aim of my project comes down to this; I am interested in forms of communication, and how they are affected by context, or more so how they are affected when context is changed. This is what is at the heart of almost all of the art that I have been Investigating; Liza Nelson’s Emoji IRL.LOL., An Xiao’s Morse Code Tweets, Mathieu Tremblin and Emma Cozzani’s French Lovers, all investigate communication in changed context.

I think recontextualising communication is really interesting, as it forces us to analyse the underlying messages within these different forms. This plays heavily into Marshall McLuhan’s idea of “the medium is the message”. Put simply this concept is that he way in which we convey a message actually says more that the content of the message. An Xiao’s Morse Code Tweets, which I mentioned earlier, explores this really well by asking question about the importance we place on different forms of communication. Back when morse code was invented it was one of the first forms of instantaneous communication, and was usually used for messages of high importance. These days we have hundreds of way to instantaneously communicate, which changes the types of messages we send. Xiao particularly explores the differences between twitter and morse code by combining the two, to see how it changes the messages that are being conveyed. This is not only a great example of medium affecting message but it also incorporates a historical context. Later, Xiao also undertook a similar project where she sent tweets as postcards, again investigating the different cultural values of forms of communication.

Self Portrait in Postcards

These project took place in 2009, and there are now more forms of communication than ever. While I haven’t exactly pinpointed what methods of communication I would like to explore, I am excited to investigate this topic through art, and to more complexly explore something many of us use everyday without even thinking about it.