Creation and Exhibition

Kari Friestad (Visual Art & Design)

Creation and Exhibition of "Proximity" painting series

Presently I am exploring the experience, effects and phenomena of social networking. A progressively common aspect of this feature of modern culture is disconnection from the immediate social environment, facilitated by a total absorption in the ubiquitous online connection, even though it is recognizably shallow, manufactured, and inauthentic. Within a society dominated by a frenzied image-saturated culture, personal identity quickly aligned itself with an online persona. Through the vehicle of the online profile, available on a huge range of available networks—Myspace, Facebook, Google and Google+, Friendster, gaming pages, work sites, personal websites, dating sites, blogs and more--we are defined, debatably in narrow terms, including our comments, our likes and dislikes, what we eat, who we vote for, how we look, what music we like, what we believe, and our vacations. We manufacture our virtual identity, however deliberately, through images and the increasingly reflexive “status update,” similar to the image crafted by celebrities and public figures. The digital world redefines the rules of boundaries, communication styles, personalities, and personal identity. We acknowledge that “connection” is a good thing. Connection is why we network. I have two themes: the dichotomy between the potential digital connection and disconnection from people in proximity; and the imagery created by the pursuit of these connections. 

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