What is a portrait? A profile? Who are your friends, and who is “pending,” waiting to be connected with you? Perhaps you’ve issued invitations to “friend” people on Facebook and never received a response. For any number of reasons, you’ve not replied to requests with a click of the “Accept” button.
“I am interested in various levels of familiarity and intimacy that develop with online personas and associations.” ~ Charlotte Potter
“Historically,” says Potter, a “profile” portrait was quite literally a person’s silhouette, and often these would be hand-engraved as a glass cameo pendant. The modern profile (or portrait) [are Facebook profile pictures.]
As interactions have become more virtual, Potter’s goal with this project is to make connections physical once again. She’s created handmade objects~~cameos~~from public images on Facebook.
Potter collected profile pictures of pending “friend requests” from the spring of 2014 and hand-engraved a small glass cameo of each. Cataloguing meticulously, she arranged pendants geographically, according to individuals’ Facebook information. Each grouping protrudes from the wall in direct proportion to how many friends Potter shares with her “pendings.”
“I am interested in various levels of familiarity and intimacy that develop with online personas and associations. I hope for the piece to challenge audiences to reconceptualize relationships in the digital age and consider the different thresholds of friendship in our lives,” says the artist.
Potter goes on to say that pending friend requests are “in a certain kind of limbo, a liminal space between acceptance, knowing and memory.” For Potter, people exist in this space for many reasons; in her case, she includes distant family members, mutual friends, friends from early school days, colleagues, or people she simply can’t place.
“Maybe I have yet to meet you in person or have simply overlooked my notifications; some of you are now my dear friends, trusted colleauges, acquaintances, and some of you may still be ‘pending.’ I see this work as celebrating the potential of new relationships. I thank everyone whose profile is included in this project for your fortuitious participation.”
Learn more about Potter and the exhibit at www.charlottepotter.com