Artists Marni Shindelman and Nate Larson didn’t know how timely Geolocation would be at the beginning of 2021. Their ongoing project, which pairs tweets with photographs from the location posts were uploaded, began in 2009. Geolocation has witnessed social media reactions to the Great Recession, the birth of #BlackLivesMatter, the presidency of Donald Trump and most recently the failed insurrection at the Capitol.
The exhibition, which opened to the public at the Halsey Friday, is a startling commentary on surveillance brought on by tech companies and a less-startling meditation on the ubiquity of social media. Each art piece is a picture taken from the location a tweet was posted, found through publicly accessible geolocation data.
The almost ubiquitous internet acronym IRL, which stands for “in real life,” suggests a bifurcation of lived experience. Denoting a fracturing of reality, it breaks life into two domains: one existing in the connections between servers on the internet, and the other in the realm of lived experience. While this fragmented reality was more conceivable in the internet’s early existence, younger generations are growing up in a world where one’s IRL and online selves are often indistinguishable. As Orit Gat wrote in 2018, “a word to differentiate between time spent online and offline isn’t very handy after smartphones, which all but ensure we’re never actually offline.”READ THE FULL STORY [+]
“These tweets have my location?” reads the text below a photograph of orange trees shot by artistic duo Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman.
Yes, they do.
That point is proven by the two photography educators who have combined their talents for a project called “Geolocation.”
Their exhibit, which features photographs taken at a variety of locations where tweets were posted, is on display at the College of Charleston’s Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art through early March.
The art does not include identifying information, geographic data or any outside context. It just includes a photo with the original tweet below. And while sometimes the subject matter and caption make sense together, other times they might not seem necessarily connected at all.
“Cars are nothing but money pigs #hateit #waitingsucks #impoor” reads the tweet beneath a picture of an auto shop.READ THE FULL STORY [+]
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art will host its next in-person gallery, Larson Shindelman: Geolocation, Jan. 15-March 5. The body of work, according to the Halsey, explores the connection between text and image and public versus private.
Artistic duo Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman assembled the exhibit using Twitter. Utilizing publicly accessible geographic data from tweets, the artists tracked down locations where a Twitter user posted something. Once there, they took pictures of each location and printed it with the tweet at the bottom of the picture.