Research Summary

We decided to research into different areas around our concept of Social Identity Construction to inform our practice, these being, social identity, social identity construction, artists (that had approached similar subjects), history of Facebook, collaboration, performance art, participation art and other artists we found relevant.

(See research wall for detailed research)

Web links: – article written by David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. The article discusses the reliance we have on Facebook in society and its level of use for communication. He questions the reactions if Facebook one day ceased to exist, something I must ask myself… – Video posted on YouTube by the ‘PBS Idea Channel’ raises the issues that we are interested in our work, the construction of identity on Facebook, the portrayal of ourselves and how that may not be representative. He talks about the scale of Facebook and our brain capacity to only hold a certain amount of information and friendships yet Facebook is pushing those boundaries by the sheer amount of data and ‘friendships’ people are receiving. – article by Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., who is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts. She discusses the psychological effects on being ‘unfriended’ on Facebook and self help steps to manage rejection. – set up by an Italian group of artists, Seppukoo is a way to kill off your online identity, ‘offering users the ritual destruction of their virtual identities complete with a customizable memorial page. There’s even a leader board showing off the top users, whose scores are determined by how many others in their network decide to Seppukoo.’ – Tobias Leingruber, a German artist, produced Social Network Identity Cards which would function as ID cards, playing on the idea of one’s Facebook identity being used as their identity. When asked what uses would a social media ID card have, he states ‘a bouncer could, for example, check how many friends you have on FB via a quick QR scan, and if you have less than 400, you’re definitely not popular enough for this club.’ He later got asked by Facebook to take down the site for the social identity cards to ‘protect their brand’. – – American Artist, Cecelia Kane produced work around her Facebook profile, ‘Kane provided daily self-portraits expressing an array of emotions—impatience, fear, whatever she was feeling when she snapped the picture. Drawing on the connection between women and mirrors, the Atlanta artist used red lipstick to label a feeling on her forehead and then took close-ups of herself peering into a bathroom mirror for 89 days.’ This work is really interesting in terms of Kane representing her ‘true/real self’ as opposed to a edited, selected image of herself, as most of us do. – risks of identity fraud via Facebook – This report by Stacey Koosel discusses the ways in which artists tackle the subject of Digital Identity in the context of a multi-disciplinary interest in this as a subject area.  – ‘German artist Martin Backes has created Pixelhead identity concealing mask to help confront the issues of anonymity in the digital age. The artist believes that open sharing is overly pervasive. Sharing of location, images, videos, hobbies and employment through social networks has raised previously unasked questions about the state of our identity.’ – Dissertation by BA hons Photography Student on Identity Construction through Facebook. Found some really relevant and useful information and research from this. (See specific research) – Interesting blog post on self portrayal online – (link to PDF file) – Examining Students’ Intended Image on Facebook: “What Were They Thinking?!”  …’The present article examines factors that influence why students post information on their social network profile which employers would find inappropriate. Results show that many students make a conscious attempt to portray a particular image and, as predicted, their intended image was related to whether they posted inappropriate information.”

Other research – further reading

Research Notes/Mindmaps

Collaboration Artist research Exhibitions (Collaboration) Social Identity  The Church of Facebook 1 History of Facebook004

All research was brought together and we discussed and analysed each article/information we had found, this enabled a good understanding of the research we were doing and helped the collaboration. With the emphasis on getting the events up and running, we wanted to get research done as quickly as possible, which meant changing our usual ways of working – heavily relying on research based practice.

Research Wall


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