Lauren Edmonds

Artist

I made this [2015]

imadethis_laurenedmonds_2015_2-2

I made this (2015) Interactive object: recycled cardboard, smartphone, app 25 x20 x 2.5 cm

 

The work I made this compromises of a miniature cardboard sign with a smartphone set within it. On the phone is an app. The background is a photo of the area of cardboard the phone replaces with the words ‘I’M SO ANGRY I MADE THIS SIGN’ digitally drawn on top. If a viewer touches the screen a ‘Follow’ button appears and automatically presses down.

I began to draw connections to how such use of materials and non-elitist aesthetics in creating protest paraphernalia can also become a trope that is absorbed into the spectacle [1]. I also drew connections to how content and actions on social media may appear more sincere to a cause in the process of production, in their immediacy and non-professionalism. My works begin to uncover these concerns when montage is used to combine the handmade and non-valuable materials together with technology or objects associated with the production of social media content such as smartphones, tablets and selfie sticks.

By montaging the handmade, cardboard and smartphone together, I bring into question the function of the protest sign as well as communications technology through estrangement.The conditions just discussed surrounding production are also brought into consideration through montage and is reinforced by the text that brings the matter of the object’s production to the forefront.

Other conditions may also be uncovered through montage. For example, the illusion created with the background image makes the merging of the handmade and physical, with technology and digital appear so intertwined it brings forth a sense of not being able to have one without the other, resonating with Shirky’s assertions  that social media is effective when it does not replace real-world action but is used to coordinate it [2].

 

[1] ‘spectacle’ in terms of Debord’s theory in: Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (New York: Zone Books, 1994).

[2] Clay Shirky, “The Political Power of Social Media: Technology, the Public Sphere, and Political Change,” Foreign Affairs 90, no. 1 (2011): 29.

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