After looking into the work of Jon Rafman and the way he used the internet, I became interested in the act of uncovering secondary sources, and the investigation that could occur when aiming to find something on the internet that you are not entirely sure exists or not.
Thinking on themes of investigation, I was also inspired by the work of Susan Hiller, particularly her piece ‘Dedicated to the Unknown Artists’ (1972-1976).
In this work, Hiller collected postcards of stormy seas and waves from different British seaside towns, some of which were painted, others were photographed, and she collated all the visual and historical information she could gather on each postcard, forming a brilliantly tender exploration of works by outsider artists, who will never be accepted for their commercial art, no matter how beautiful the scene appears to be. I was interested in this idea of anonymity in art, and revelation through exploration, and wanted to plan my own investigation, similar to Hiller’s to uncover the artists and tastes of the internet.
As such I began to look into the website Tumblr, and the distinct subcultures and fandoms that arise from a microblogging platform of that nature. As a long time user of the site, and having had my blog since I was 13, I have become an experienced user and appreciate the honest online atmosphere that Tumblr has as opposed to some more violent or aggressive sites such as Twitter. Personally, my feed is filled with aesthetic and fashion related images, and I wanted to catalogue these, ordering them yet discovering more about their sources and history through travelling back seeing which blogs they originated from. As such I collated images into 5 groups of the most popular colours on my feed: white, red, pink, blue and gold. I then catalogued 100s of images of each colour into an excel format, in an updated version of Hiller’s ‘Dedicated to the Unknown Artists’, appropriating her form as with the work of Jon Rafman.