Marcin Ramocki, Blogger Skins, 2007
You’ll have to excuse the lack of content on this blog as of late. Unfortunately, Art Fag City hasn’t proven to be awesome in the paying bills department, which results in time spent on cash generating projects I naturally have about half the interest in.
If time and money weren’t issues, you’d probably read a few more responses to material on Tom Moody’s blog over the last week. In the next couple of days I’ll be covering three topics he’s raised recently, beginning with Marcin Ramocki’s Blogger Skins at artMovingProjects and moving on to his discussion of the Nasty Net Halloween post, and Net 1.0.
For those who are either not aware of Ramocki’s project, or only aware of our fresh link to the exhibition reading “Dear Mr. Ramocki, Next time please paint a giant portrait of my face”, Blogger Skins is basically a portrait created by arranging the first 100 google image results drawn from their first and last names. Bloggers Tom Moody, Joy Garnett, James Wagner, Regine DeBatty, and myself were the chosen subjects for this piece, the results of which can be seen here.
One of the more obvious points of interest in this piece lies in the reading of the results, an aspect Moody covers well;
Clearly Debatty, who publishes the blog We Make Money Not Art, is the most successful personage among us, as the first dozen hits are photos of her. This means people with huge amounts of Google juice have linked to her and pushed these images to the top of the heap. Garnett is the most successful artist, as it is her paintings that fill the top slots. James Wagner is disadvantaged by having a common name, while I have been sharing Google with an Australian cricket player and coach for many years now. The drawings occupying the #1 and #2 slots for my name are actually drawings by me published in a Dallas zine when I lived there years ago. Almost two decades later and the artist is still sniffing the critic’s butt and shining the curator’s shoes.
While it’s hard not to respond to the fact that Tom Moody’s portrait is largely defined by cartoons he drew of an artist sniffing a critic’s ass, and then later shining his shoes, the reading of what is essentially statistical data strikes me as a slightly different animal than the term portrait suggests. To my mind, the strength of Blogger Skins lies less in its “completeness” as a portrait, than in its austere arrangement of digital profiles. The timestamped titles may suggest an evolving digital skin, but Ramocki’s visualization tells us what Moody must already be grumbling about; Our digital selves don’t change nearly as much we might like.