Dakapo’s Photostream. Joel Cocks and Sorawit Songsataya.
Dog Park Art Project Space, Christchurch. 20 July – 11 August 2013.
Dakapo has been a member of Flickr since January 2007. Since then, he has amassed 1,214 photos on his Photostream. At first I thought this seemed like a lot, but then I went to see how many photos I have on my Facebook photo album: 960. So I guess Dakapo’s Photostream is quite modest in size and quality, especially considering in the last 6 years he has visited ski fields, car museums, concerts, sports events and social media nights across Europe and America with his Canon EOS 30D. This guy is pretty slick, he goes places, he knows people. Dakapo is the perfect kind of Flickr member. I wonder if I Google him will I find a different kind of Dakapo on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
Flickr itself has been around since 2004; snapped up by Yahoo! in 2005; and only this year been redesigned to resemble more of a photo blog site, which coincided with Yahoo! acquiring Tumblr. After nearly a decade experimenting with the use of various social media sites such as these, as someone now in their mid-20s I am definitely starting to feel a certain online fatigue coming on very slowly when I think broadly about what is happening. Each day I feel the burn a little bit more as hashtags, likes and lols become further colloquially entrenched in social behaviour both on and offline. In saying this, it seems pretty clear that Web 3.0 does make our lives much easier to live, although I have less wrist and thumb flexibility than I probably should, instant communication is extremely productive. Aside from ease of living, the effects of our mostly online society have also contributed to the way artists respond to these phenomena. Joel Cocks and Sorawit Songsataya’s current project at Dog Park certainly joins this experiential commentary as a kind of speculative reading as well as a deeper consideration into how fast this virtual community we coexist within moves from platform to platform.
As you may have guessed, the context or perhaps baseline imagery of Dakapo’s Photostream is taken directly from Dakapo’s Photostream as a kind of control subject. It seems Cocks and Songsataya have been fascinated in various elements of sites like Flickr for some time, having watched it peak in 2007 and attempt to adapt and maintain relevance alongside current 3.0 players such as Instagram. Dakapo’s Photostream is very much an anthropological response to the current kind of post-internet aesthetic of cultural production through means of reproduction. Having extended these modes of investigation to invite writing contributions that respond to Dakapo’s Photostream, Cocks and Songsataya’s project has begun to resemble the kind of digital layering inherent within the structures of social media and photo-sharing sites, but within the physical space of the gallery. As each large-format text and image collaboration is viewed across the expanse of the gallery floor, it’s difficult not to recall the realness of a brownish negative strip, or the cardboardy-glossiness of a 6×4 photograph as the gallery lights reflect on the different plasticised surfaces of each print, making the viewer move to the side, squat down closer to read, or stand further back to see the entire work as one platform.
Image Credit: Stacey Weaver
Check out more images here.