My work aims to explore the idea of the group mind – an interconnected entity that spans different personalities, connecting them in common thought. I was inspired by the idea that a common though could connect certain identities, but what if those identities were controlled by the common thought. Unlike a hive mind, a group mind allows for separate identities within the form of the group, and I was interested in exploring how one could both been inseparable from a common identity, get forge their own within this space.
JT Leroy – I have been inspired by the story of JT Leroy, and how his avatar was created by Laura Owens as an outlet for her own narrative, yet he had a distinct backstory, character and history from Owens’ own. I was very interested in the way that Owens employed another family member to act as Leroy in public, in order to give him a physical persona, yet she was still the force behind his mind. I am very interested in this separation between the avatars mind and body, and whether one may function without the other. In addition, Owens also used to dress up her sister as a punk, send her into punk venues to mix with members of the punk subculture, and then return and recount her adventures. In this way Owens lived through the avatar of her sister. I was very interested in how the experiences of one mind could be shared between two bodies, and the role of the avatar in day to day life, separate from science-fiction.
Jon Rafman – I have also been very inspired by the work of Jon Rafman, in particular his film ‘Mainsqueeze’. In this film he uses found footage to portray different internet subcultures, and mixes animation with live action, as well as ‘high’ and ‘low’ forms of images, creating an off-kilter visual style. I am interested in his varied use od image styles within one work, and would like in my own film to research using both still and filmed images, as well as original and found footage. With Rafman’s film there is the simple overarching concept of the ‘Portrayal of the Internet Subculture’, and this connects many very separate identities under the branch of the overall ‘online identity’. I am interested in the role of the internet as perhaps the world’s largest group mind, which wields unlimited power, knowing and understanding the countless personalities it influences.
Harmony Korine – The style of film I wanted to create was also based on the films of Harmony Korine, in particular ‘Gummo’. I am interested in the way Korine links disparate narratives through place, rather than situation, and how the personalities of the characters in the film are wholly derived from this. In my own work, I want to explore how identities can be connected through means such as place, and social situation, and how a group mind could evolve from the turbulence of such situations. In addition, I am also very interested in the surreal non-linear structure of the storytelling in the film, and how some characters are followed for many scenes, whereas others simply appear for a short sketch. I want to explore this almost broken sense of storytelling, intermixed with surreal and unexpected events in my own film.
Alejandro Jordonowsky – This interest in surrealist forms of cinema led me to Jordonowsky, in particular ‘The Holy Mountain’.
Description of the work: