Through digital communications, including Facebook, Twitter, online dating and personal websites, the representation of our personalities in becoming increasingly streamlined. We have the opportunity to project an idea of who we are as individuals into the world around us, but it goes hand in hand with the ever-present option of censoring information and inventing fictional characteristics. Never before have we had access to so much information about one another, and never before has this information been so unreliable.
In this project, Johan Rosenmunthe downloaded pictures of ‘friends’ whom he knows only through the Internet, and put them in new contexts. The people themselves are only visible by way of digital representation, while their surroundings are presented as non-digitally as possible. The scenes used are photographed locations that invite interaction – places that miss the presence of human beings. By adding a setting to the digital components of these personas, the environments bring new meanings to the way the digital characters behave, lending new meaning and personality to their simplified characteristics.
These pictures come to life when the viewer moves in relation to them. Seen up close, the people are blurred and the viewer has to step back to bring the subject into focus. At the same time, the scene in which the individual is placed becomes blurred when viewed from a distance. From a distance, it is only possible to identify the pixelated segment of the image. Viewers therefore have to move back and forth – between non-figurative, coloured squares and figurative representations of personalities. This movement is important – metaphorically as well as visually.