A Screen Within A Screen

Steps taken for creating a physically tangible and interactive relationship between a human, a laptop, an iPhone and social media sites via a strategy of recursion (the process of repeating items in a self-similar way):

  1. Begin by being in an experimental mood and a meta frame of mind.
  2. Post a series of photographs called “Safeway Park Lines” on Instagram.
  3. Look at the Instagram post of the last photograph and think “what if I used my iPhone to take a picture of my computer screen showing the post of the photograph?” and proceed to do so: 14_19.1
  4. Put the new photo of the screen image of your Instagram post of your photograph on Facebook.
  5. Then take a photo of your computer screen showing your Facebook post of your Instagram post of your photo and put it on Instagram. (Getting a little strange)
  6. Wonder to your yourself “what would happen if I kept doing this? What does an image of a screen within a screen within a screen, and on and on, look like? And what would one call this type of art (if it is art) that results from this relationship between these repeated elements (human, iPhone, laptop screen, Instagram & Facebook) combined in this manner? Is it photograpy? Digital art? Social media art? Performance art? Or something else?”
  7. Proceed to quickly and methodically repeat the process over and over, alternating between Instagram and Facebook (e.g., Instagram screen of FB screen of Instagram screen of FB screen of Instagram screen of FB screen of Instagram screen of FB screen of Instagram screen of “Safeway Park Line” photograph).
  8. Be prepared to annoy all your “friends” on Instagram and Facebook with lots of posts that all look rather alike. Wonder if anyone can tell that, instead of posting images that are complete and ready for consumption, you are attempting to use the very act of posting (and re-posting) as a method for creating images.
  9. Finally stop around the twenty-first post. You notice that the changes between images are not exactly linear and that an oddly blurry, yet bright, area started growing in the center as each image became more distorted.
  10. Be reminded of an early experiment with tape by musician Steve Reich, of two stereos facing each other, with the first playing a tape recording and the second recording the tape recording and then switching, so that the second plays the recording of the first while the first then records (and repeat, back and forth, again and again, until the original recording slowly turns into white noise).
  11. Name this odd experiment: A Screen Within A Screen (Homage to Steve Reich) and post on your website (images below and in the order in which they occured). Wonder if someone would like to continue the process by taking a photo of this website page and posting it, and then taking a photo of the posting and posting it, then taking a photo… (repeat)

(Click on images to enlarge)

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