The verb “comment” was chosen for my visual map. The map shows how comments have evolved from older style “commentary” to the modern day “commented” or “comments.”
Commentary is very different to what it has evolved to now. A comment, or commentary, is a remark, oberservation, or criticism pertaining to something. They used to suggest or infer to a new idea and provide some further thought. Comments were something that would expand thought or debate. Comments usually were followed with a gesture of respect.
They have become something very different in modern times. With the advent of social media, verbs that were once known as something else have evolved into completely new meanings. My topic, comments, are something entirely different too. They can be anonymous or personal. They can be from a stranger or a “friend” (another social media noun). They can be welcomed or unwelcome. Comments nowadays have turned into a more disconnected and less constructive form of communication. They also seem to lack respect, and the commentator to possess a feeling of entitlement to what they have said. Where comments used to be verbal they are now through text. They are mostly vulgar these days and don’t lead to constructive thought. Comments used to be a serious form of criticism and now they are taken a lot less seriously.
I took the ideas of commentary and commented and attempted to combine the two. Using a compliment as a form of commentary, and written text as a form of commented, I combined these two ideas into one swift action. I would approach the person that I was going to compliment. I wrote the compliment out on a sticky note (instant and done quickly to represent a Facebook Comment) and held it in front of the person I was complimenting. While holding the sticky note I used my Canon 5D Mark II and focused on it, blurring out the person. The blur represents a disconnection between the commentator and the one receiving it. Digitally complimenting someone versus doing it in person can create that disconnection now.
However, because I did give the compliments in person as they watched me write them out, I still was able to experience their reactions and they were happy about them.
(click on an image to view it full size)
From Left to Right – Top to Bottom
1. An Authoritative Figure
2. A Family Member
3. A Hero
5. Someone Who Doesn’t Live Here
6. A Professional
7. Someone I Am Proud Of
8. A Stranger
9 A Teammember
10. A Villian
Displaying my performative actions in this manner was not only documentation but also came out aesthetically pleasing. While the person is blurred out in every photo, their emotion can still be seen.
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