Upstream’s Net Art Update (#39). Featured in the exhibition The New Outside on our online platform www.upstream.gallery (curated by Constant Dullaart.
Today: LaTurbo Avedon, Mirror Emoji, 2019, PDF. Find it via https://upstream.gallery/.
LaTurbo Avedon is an avatar artist and curator and has been making work since 2008-2009. The genesis of their identity occurred in various profile creation processes, eventually taking a more rigid form in Second Life. Avedon's work largely surrounds digital identity and the internet. The work in the show was made possible by two essential collaborators, Theo Schear and Jennifer 8 Lee. The new shorthand alphabet of emoji's, used to communicate by many instead of words, is becoming more and more important. The organisation behind the curation of which emojis are supported by hardware and tech platforms like Apple and Google accepts few proposals per year. The addition of a new word or emoji is a beautiful artistic gesture in this case. Especially since the true reflection of the mirror will be impossible in the depiction of a mirror. As Umberto Eco (these two names caused minor friction in my brain) writes in his 1986 book: Semiotics and the Philosophy of Language: There is no imprint or icon of a mirror other than a mirror. The latter, in the world of signs, becomes the shadow of its former self: derision, caricature, memory. You can make a portrait, either a photograph or a painting, and assert that it is 'realistic' , truer than the original. With mirrors there is no truer image than the original's. A catoptric element, capable of reflecting a semiotic element existing independently of it (without modifying it), cannot, in turn, be reflected by it. The semiosic element can only generalize it, make it a genus, a scheme, a concept, pure content.
While the mirror is not only represented in an image but as a part of a new image based language it becomes even more interesting that the mirror will never be a mirror. The only place where we can see ourselves outside of ourselves as a referent only.