A Portrait of the Artist (As Told By Airtaskers)
Commissioned for the Opera House 'Digital Mentorship Program', 2019
Originally, I proposed to make a work in which I would choose a person's name issued by an online name generator. I would then search this name online, find a person with the same name, and piece together a portrait of their life based on all the publicly available information I could find about them. I wanted to then upload this video portrait to YouTube, in the hope that one day if they Googled themselves, they would find this creepily detailed biopic of them created by a stranger. However, once the lawyers at the Opera House were briefed on the project, they said no.
So, I flipped the idea and asked, well, what would happen if I invited a group of strangers to stalk me online and create a video portrait of me based on their findings?
To start, I paid 8 Airtaskers to search me online and each write a 500 word biography of my life based on their findings. Those who took up the task included a university student, a retired military sniper, a social media content creator, a copywrighter and a surfer/musician.
I then used the rest of the artist fee paid to me by the Opera House, to pay another Airtasker to create a 'video portrait' of me based on the biographies supplied by the first 8 Airtaskers. He merged the 8 biographies into a first-person script. He then cast 8 people he thought looked like me based on the first photo that comes up when searching my name on Google images, to read my biography to the camera.