Intro to Shades of Darkness

Privacy is fast disappearing. The personal details of our existences are laid out in fragile digital storage bins. Yet people hell-bent on living out their lives off the grid can still do so. One can survive outside the boundaries of the technological forces gnawing away at out our ability to keep personal details private. Of course, garnering the necessary resources to survive off the technological grid is not easy, but if a person is willing to make sacrifices, it can be done. By and large, though, people are embracing, even celebrating, the above-mentioned technological forces that limit and perhaps entirely strip us of privacy. I believe the digital/electronic grid of which the Internet is the key component has redefined us socially, culturally, and politically. Boundaries are breaking down. These words serve as an introduction to Shades of Darkness, a Flash animation that could not have been created without our personal boundaries being much more lax. Shades of Darkness is a direct product of my visiting the Facebook profile of Thérèse Elaine. Honestly, I do not remember how I came to discover Thérèse Elaine on Facebook. I think it was one of those random Facebook things, where Facebook vectors you towards “People You May Know” by posting their profile pic on your page. I clicked on Thérèse Elaine’s pic, visited her page, and found we share a passion for pulp fiction. A simple Googling of her name brought me to a poetry website she contributes to. Her poetry cast a spell over me. As a digital artist I am most interested in animating poetry. I animated a portion of Thérèse Elaine poem, Night Siren, and melded it with images I found on her Facebook page. Unquestionably, I imposed myself into someone else’s personal space, taking their words/imagery and fusing them to my own aesthetic sensibility. What justified me in doing this? I can only state what inspired me: beauty, the beauty of Thérèse Elaine's text and visual representations.

Animation duration: 5 minutes and 45 seconds, before looping.

Peter Schmideg

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