While the internet’s structure retains the potential for unprecedented openness, creativity, and diversity, it’s content has become dominated by commercialized concerns and reflective of traditional power dynamics. Amazon is a company before a river. Cherokee is a car before a tribe of people. It isn’t that the internet is incorrect in returning these results, but that in doing so it tells us something essential about the way the internet creates definitions, and who is more likely to benefit: companies over communities, products over people.
In my latest series, created at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica I am creating drawings reflective of my experience of Bow, New Hampshire, growing up there and returning as an adult. These works are then subjected to my method of Internet Imperialism through which I manipulate search results to return my drawings, serving as a reminder and warning of our trust in the internet’s authority. With the internet’s preference for photography these drawings embedded within search results serve to remind the viewer of the perspective inherent within all images and visual definitions.
This year at 18th Street Arts Center’s holiday party guests will be invited to participate in Internet Imperialism by writing a postcard from Bow New Hampshire. I invite you to immersive yourself in my active studio then become part of my internet take over as I hacks search results for Bow New Hampshire, manipulating its online identity as a reminder of how tenuous the authority of the internet can be. My hope is to encourage more creative content leading to more inclusive definitions.