IDENTITY AND LONGING IN A DIGITAL LANDSCAPE
ON THE INTERNET NO ONE KNOWS YOU’VE BEEN CRYING
Emma Dickson’s practice includes creating netart pieces that explore identity and emotional expression online. Their 2018 piece Mixed Connections, pictured above, asks, how do anonymity and location shape the presentation of identity? The piece continually scrapes Craigslist Missed Connections and recombines isolated posts into new, interwoven narratives. The recombinant posts take on a dreamlike quality, where location, race, gender, age, everything is in flux. Discordant emotions pop up and quickly disappear, sometimes only a single line of dialogue lingers. The common thread is the raw need of the poster and the voyeuristic attempt of the viewer to corral it into something neater. Mixed Connections has been featured in Digital America Issue 11, CICA’s 2019 exhibit OBJECTIFIED, #cyborgs, Queertech.io 2019 and maps-dna-and-spam. Their newest piece, “Washing Machine” gives users a ritual to cleanse themselves of negative thoughts.
OBSOLESCENCE AS FORM
Learning to speak dead languages
Emma is passionate about using old media formats as a medium. Exploring language and memory they make use of obsolete storage formats in their new media sculptures. In Winter 2019, they were the Toolmaker-in-Residence at Signal Cultures in Owego, NY, where they began to develop a new, multimodal form of slow scan TV (SSTV). This was used to translate found film slides, first into audio and finally into digital images to demonstrate the data loss inherent in dragging old media into the present and how that reflects our experience of memory.
MY NECK, MY CRACK, MY VIDEO FEEDBACK
Closed Circuit is an ongoing series of sculptures created from personal tv/radio’s. Each piece in the series approaches the crt television as an individual with it’s own unique character. The television is disassembled, and reconstructed with custom alterations to its circuitry. A security camera is incorporated into the tv’s antenna and connected to a tv transmitter. The television is then tuned in to receive the transmission of itself. This results in a sculpture that is forced to view and display itself. Each configuration of a television in this series is unique and based on the original circuit's configuration. Closed Circuits explores introspection and the gap between how we perceive ourselves and how we appear to others. By forcing a technical object to undergo introspection it encourages the audience to identify with the machine in it’s imposed self scrutiny. It reverses the assumed metaphor for electronic pieces, that electronics represent an evolution away from humanity and instead suggests that they can be used to understand human nature. See More Hardware Experiments