This project started with the idea that you can create a portrait with more than paint. With it being my final year I decided to break away from my tradtional style and attempt something different. In a craft shop I came across some Hamabeads and there was a feeling of nostalga with them, as I had them as a kiddleywink. I then had an idea to create a portrait from them, instead of painting, or recording peoples voices. I would try to do something different, that had maybe never been done in the same context before.

Before long I had a collection of hamabead portraits that in themselves were very interesting visually. the melted side fusing more than the side away from the heat, almost like two pieces in one. So with that i decided to experiment, by painting on glass and different surfaces, or sewing them onto canvas, anything I could think of really.  Before long I realised that the portraits were interesting but could potentially become a lot more unique.

It was then when I was sat in the Pc room and noticed that every single student was on facebook, and the idea dawned on me. You can create a portrait out of anything, but to me a portrait is mearly an explanation of a person in one form. What if I completely created a persona from scratch...starting from the hamabead portraits.

I began by building them into a little internet community, creating them a hotmail account, signing them up to Facebook and creating a basic personality from them. I then handed the emails and passwords out to my friends and allowed them to sign in and interact with these characters. In the beginning there was Gertrude and Cecil, and after a period of time new characters were added. I decided that 4 characters was sufficient to support by myself, with Jeremy and Sandy-Sue. Once the characters where introduced into the world of facebook their characters began to flourish, they were recieving different emails to their hotmail account, and different friendship requests. They were becomming individual, not a collection. This was an important moment for me. From that point I monitored their behaviour and interveined when they went quiet. They began to form relations - not all of them were successful.

As facebook characters on their own they were successful, each sending and recieving frequent messages. They became a PERSONA.

But this wasn't enough. My interest with facebook and other social networking websites grew and grew over the weeks and before long I was researching them as frequently as I was signing onto their facebook accounts.

The world of cyber relations is fasintating to me. The idea that people can be whatever they want to be, say what they want, pretty much do whatever they like. Some use the internet as a form of escapism others use it as research for their next targets. Pedophiles, sex offenders, murderers and criminals use the web to connect with one another. Whether it be an underwraps pedophile website (lair), or a fake facebook to commit macarb and sadistic acts on others. I have a sketchbook full of examples of crimes that have been caused due to facebook or social networking websites.

We have no privacy, we will happily hand over our secrets with a side of shame on a facebook status. When did it become like this? When did it become more acceptable to announce life changing decisions over a little website? This is where my project took a serious turn, as I now had a motive, a reason to why I was doing this. I would make an example of these characters by pointing out they are fictional and people still accept them into their lives.

This project is an exploration of the internet and consumerism. I'm looking into the idea of exploitation. This year I have researched the positive and negative stories of the internet seeking the understand the power behind it. My work looks at the ideology that it is so easy to be fake. And to create something from scratch to a franchise is equally easy.

From the facebook accounts I decided to push it further and made a soap opera called Destiny. This soap opera doesn't exist, it's just a hollow lie that I update every week. I create fake entries and guestbook comments and even submitted a page about it on wikipedia.

This website is everything about the project thrown together. A collaberation effect that looks into this idea that anything can be fake and that you don't need to have 'all the sources' to make something believable. Keep saying something for long enough and people begin to believe you.

Make a Free Website with Yola.