Dave Hilliard is in the Project Space using Instagram as an artwork in itself. His project, entitled Post studio practice in the studio, is in the Project Space until 20 August 2016. Dave writes about the work:
I began uploading my paintings to Instagram in 2013 and since then my work has evolved to use this social media platform as an artwork in itself. To make these images I combine stylised self-portraits, photographs from my life and things I find online, using a program called Paint.net, a free alternative to Photoshop. I like the idea that personal narratives can tell stories about wider culture, and that’s what I try and do in my work. In my mind these images exist somewhere in the intersection of personal and cultural mythologies. It’s me and it’s something more than me, it’s real and it’s something more than reality.
A lot of the photographs I use for backgrounds I took 6 or 7 years ago in Texas on a phone or digital camera and so these images contain a lot of symbols I associate with the lone star state, mainly stars and corporate logos. I think a great deal about what America represents, ideas about freedom, movement and about chasing some intangible sense of happiness. I live in England but I deliberately portray my online character as existing in some kind of American non-place, not anchored by geography or history, as I think that is how many people increasingly exist now. The masked character is a bringing to life of imagery from my previous paintings, which I took partly from ‘Online drinking communities’ in which masked men relate to each other by recording videos of themselves drinking beer.
I have recently been working with digital imagery partly because painting had become limited in how I was able to convey the sorts of things I wanted to. I think the algorithms which are partly responsible for how I find source material are akin to the free-flowing mix of chance and purpose one gets when painting. You watch one video, Youtube suggests another and before you know it you are immersed in obscure internet communities. These communities use new technology to facilitate elemental human needs for connection and belonging.
Signed, strictly limited edition (3-4 of each print) ‘Polaroid’ style digital prints of Instagram art for sale, £10 per print or £50 for complete set of 10.
If you are an artist and want to do something experimental, apply to use NN’s Project Space. You can find applications here.