The above images were created by going into the hexadecimal code of the images in order to purposefully glitch and destroy them. I started with nude self-portraits, and inside each image, I went into the code and added textual data to begin breaking and modifying the photo. The textual data used to break the images came from the hexadecimal code from a facebook ad geared at weight loss or body image.
After using the code from the ad to disrupt the code from the self-portrait, I then went back into the self-portrait and added in brief statements about how the ads made me feel about myself or my body. Each confession, fear, or anxiety further broke the self portrait.
Since glitching seldom is a process that can be controlled, I wanted to re-establish some of that control in my process. So I took the glitched portraits, the facebook ads, and the code into Photoshop and began to composite them together. The above series shows the results of that process.
By allowing part of the glitched image, the ads, and the underlying code to come together, I'm working with the same language of code, control, structure, and layering to draw connections to societal structures, cultural paradigms, and unfair dichotomies that affect us all, both on the screen, and in real life.
BEAUTY RITUAL: Living for the Neck Up
In this year long performance piece and photography project, I woke up everyday and documented the exact amount of time it took me to put on my makeup and style my hair. Then I used a point and shoot camera, in auto-mode, to take a selfie and post it to Flickr. This beauty ritual deals with the un-ending cycle of daily beauty routines. The term "living for the neck up" is used in cosmetic and fashion industries as a way to market products to women of size. Many fat women feel that their face and hair are the only way to present as attractive. Commonly fat women hear things like "you have such a beautiful face", furthering the disconnect and lack of control fat women often associate with the rest of their bodies. This project was a way to document my own struggles with beauty culture and my own implications in that process of make-up and "living for the neck up".
After a year of make up and hair styling, I spent a total of 620.14 hours, which translates into approximately 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours and 23 minutes on my beauty ritual. Below is a short animation of all the selfies from the project.
In this early series of self-portraits, I was exploring the formal principles of body landscapes as a way to highlight, rather than distract from my roundness and girth. I wanted to examine the body in varying levels of abstract closeness, wrapping my body in light and shadow. Stretch marks, stray hairs, rolls of flesh are emphasized rather than hidden, as way to create a visual language that frames these "blemishes" as beautiful. These images aim to strike a balance between the female body as object and abject.
In this untitled series of images, I wanted to continue the abstract nudes, but I wanted to include male figures in this work as well. Again, with an emphasis on blemishes, I turned my lens on freckles, hairs, stretch marks and flesh rolls.
Erin Go Bragh: Ireland Forever
A small collection of photographs shot in Ireland while I was exhibiting at the Dublin International Biennial in 2011. This small body of work spans from Connemara, to Dublin City, to Sugar Loaf. There is a heavy focus on landscape and architecture, specifically focusing in on my family's long Irish history and heritage.
Kasamnida: All The Little Things
During my time in Korea, I worked on a few small projects, one of which started as a documentary style photography exercise. I wanted to capture through my lens, the feelings, smells, bustle, and temperate of Seoul. As I spent more time there, I became fascinated by the little details of the place, and my particular experiences as a tourist, a transient, in this space with so much deep, rich history and culture. With that, the focus of my lens changed, and I moved in much closer to my subject, and began shooting a more macro/texture informed point of reference. A small samplings of these images were printed and included in the "Kasamnida" exhibition at gallery 175 in Seoul. There were exhibited with my "Subway Shoes" performance piece.