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Breaking the Pedestal of Idolatry: An Examination of Celebrity Culture by Emily Weiss
Please find the download link for the ebook here: http://www.blurb.com/ebooks/556277-breaking-the-pedestal-of-idolatry

My intention for the final project of Internet Studio always centered around compiling my research images and writings that are not immediately present in my fine art practice. The project originally took the form of a blog; feedback from critiques suggested that the layout did not properly serve the content, which included essays, photographs of art in progress, and links to articles. Breaking the Pedestal of Idolatry: An Examination of Celebrity Culture is a collection of original fine art and essays written by myself regarding my artistic practice and concepts. The book covers the past 4 months of research and concepts that drives my current practice, and includes a comprehensive study of the artworks created in this line of thought.

While designing Breaking the Pedestal of Idolatry, it became important to mimic my experience of research and creation; the constant push and pull of collecting reference material, writing as an exercise to hone my concepts, and the physical and emotional experience of making the work. The book oscillates between essays, studio shots, cropped photographs of detailed moments in paintings, and reference material. While the book does not encompass the entirety of my artistic history dealing with the performance of self and celebrity culture, it provides insight to the artworks created during this fall 2015 semester and the concepts that continue to inform my practice.

Drawing on the influences of Jamie Bartlett's "The Dark Net", the artworks and concepts within this book explore why social media is so prominent and how the accessibility of celebrities in the 21st century, facilitated by social media and Internet platforms, continues to promote false identities and curated personalities of the people we "know" so well. As our lives becomes more intertwined with social media channels that enhance our obsession with public reception and exhibitionism , it can become extremely difficult to separate the true and the 1 enhanced personalities of a celebrity figure. Social media is so popular because it taps into a hard-wire need to seek affirmation from our peers and feeds a natural desire for an enhanced reputation . Through the use of fine arts, writing, and digital screenshots, Breaking the Pedestal of Idolatry attempts to step beyond the screen experience of celebrities like Kim Kardashian and re-contextualize popular figures into an empathetic and human experience.

1 Jamie Bartlett, “The Dark Net”, pages 171-172.

Emily Weiss