Clear History ▶

 photo by  Olympia Shannon

    A growing collection/archive of websites that have played a formative role in people’s conception of their gender and sexuality. Identity is extremely local in time & space but easily normalized by the media we create for ourselves. While the internet alternately feels public and private, the reality is these spaces are fragile and ephemeral, easily manipulated by legislation (FOSTA/SESTA) or corporations (Grindr sharing HIV data).  

   The tracings are done on transparent paper with ink. I wanted to make a physical iteration of these pages as a way to defamiliarize them and take them seriously. Presenting them publicly brought what is usually a private experience, person to computer, out into the open where people could connect over having viewed the same pages, or encounter pages and identities they might not have on their own.

   I took website suggestions online, and for this version selected mostly LGBTA voices, though all identities are equally generated through media. Because archiving is a political practice I chose to highlight often overlooked voices. The stories for each page are sometimes very personal and not obvious from the page itself, and my role as an oral historian for them is something I am still working on how to present. 

displayed at The School For Poetic Computation Spring 2018 Showcase