Profiling My Sisters by Meghan Koshar

Through my experience studying in Roski, I have been exposed to different kinds of art in my visual culture and literacy classes. However, I never really had been exposed or truly understood what internet art is. From this class I have learned so much about digital arts, internet art, and art that isn’t tangible. I have also realized the kind of emotion that is attached to internet art, with the disconnection from being with it in person. I feel like traditionally art in the museum space, is a tangible thing, which puts value on it. But with internet art, it is just a projection of someone creativity, so there is a different kind of emotional connection. This has changed my views on how emotion translates through the internet, resulting in a unique kind of interaction with the person receiving the information through their screen. This is what prompted me to set up my project the way that I did.

Interested in exploring the emotional interactions online, I embarked on a series of interviews with people on the topic of their Facebook profile picture. For my project, I interviewed people in my sorority, here at USC. This narrows down the type of person that I am interviewing greatly. So it is women that are between the ages of 18 and 22 years old. I thought it would be interesting to focus on these women, because usually sorority women fit a certain stereotype so this might give more of an inside look. I feel like people would have some certain expectations of these women based on gender, age, or class. So hopefully these interviews can show some insight to those things, and maybe break the stereotype that one has. I was very selective in my decisions. Most of them I am pretty good friends with, this way they feel more comfortable having conversations with me, and feel more comfortable exposing themselves. I asked them pointed questions about their profile picture and how the image portrays who they are at first glance. From there, I let the conversation lead itself. I wanted to mostly talk about social presence, and how people portray themselves on social media. In addition to gaining deeper understanding of the women I call my sisters and the ways they view themselves online, I learned a lot about how to engage in a natural discussion using the interviewing format as a launching point.

To present the results, I recorded the conversation and attached it to their images. I have taken their current profile picture and layered it with a personal quote they said from the interview that reveals the person with more depth than the profile picture could show on its own. I like this look, so when people play the audio, they are looking at the profile picture and waiting for the quote to come up in the interview. I feel like it keeps the audience captivated while listening to the interview.

Engaging in the interview led to a process of recording, processing, formatting and finally designing a web page. This process returned our personal, analog, conversations to the digital realm. I really enjoyed the interview process, and learned a lot about my sisters and their thoughts on social media today, how they use it in comparison to how they think it should be used. Insight into how social media can personally brand them and how they are presenting themselves to the unknown.