“Haul Out: Goodbyes” presented by Smith

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Social Media and Digital Identities

Presentation Title:

  • Haul Out: Goodbyes

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Haul Out – Goodbyes riff off the proliferation of Hauls and shopping exposés where teens show off their recent purchases. I began these Youtube postings of videos about stuff on November 26th – Black Friday, or conversely, Buy Nothing Day.

    The stuff I showcase is not new, rather it is about to be given away. From the opposing side of consumer joy, I deal with bad shopping habits, accumulations of useless things and general wastefulness. The persona I have created allows me to imagine indulging in incomprehensible anxieties and attachments of someone who cannot ‘let go’ of possessions.

    On an ISEA panel I would present video excerpts to discuss strategies for using the internet, the information highway, and privately-owned social networking sites, with regard to:

    1. Mixing purposes: Artistic Practice/Social Commentary/Self Promotion.
    2. Examining notions of self and morality through statistics of visibility: this is my reality show and I am performing a version of my life.
    3. Comparing material objects versus digital data, and dissonant feelings about dropping each in the trash.

    I comment on taking responsibility for accumulated garbage, while resisting – or not – the pressure to buy more. As I view my image, I become concerned about how I look. I will have to buy new clothes, make-up, and technical equipment to improve production.

    Popular young women with the most ‘youtube’ hits are beginning to make shopping careers from sponsored Hauls, hiring Hollywood agents and being interviewed on national television. Flirting with cyber-celebrity, I keep track of my Haul Out hits and posts statistics on facebook, twitter and my website.

    This video project is part of a larger body of work, Tender Loving Stuff, in which I explore hoarding and wasting as they relate to psychological attachment, economic prosperity, poetic inspiration, and transgression in contemporary social practices. The desire to use virtual realms to examine the excesses of consumerism is the starting point of TLS. As a result, I butt against cyber overindulgence and my own electronic junk pile: will my electronic trash end up with “twitter” tweets in the Library of Congress or in someone else’s mash-ups?

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Video:


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