THE HOT DOG
I have been using Instagram since it was first made available in the United States. This was back in the fall of 2010. Since then, I have posted over 2,000 images and over 100 videos. I requested my data from Instagram and received a folder containing every post, comment, story, like, search, and most interesting a file that logs a time and location stamp with every post. While looking through my downloaded data from Instagram, the last image I had uploaded was of a hotdog from Trekroneren in Bergen, Norway. It is a small unassuming stand next to the highly touristy area. The local hotdog is a reindeer sausage with lingon berry, mustard, and fried onions as toppings. Food can become a symbol of a location and culture. There is the famous Chicago-dog that comes with a pickle spear, neon green relish, celery salt, and the mysterious sports-pepper. It is more than just a mundane hotdog in its iconic status. It represents a culture of a city that is only imitated outside of the location. It also becomes something unique in its portrayal of that location that can only be considered an imitation outside of a specific place.
The hotdog image moved from the original experience and photograph, to a digital form as a post on Instagram, and then back to a physical form as a printed piece. In each phase, there was a transformation. The original image was a hotdog which to me has the context of a location and community affiliation. This context was the intention of creating the post on Instagram. Once the image was uploaded it became a conscious addition to my digital identity. The part of my identity I could control was the image to upload when to upload it, what to write on it, and who to share it with. This gave the raw datasets to Instagram, and inherently Facebook, to add to my profile. Taking the image from Instagram and making a screen-printed iteration brought another transformation of the image. The intention from making a screen-printed iteration gives permanence. The image has been manipulated, distorted, and cropped from its original state. The craftsmanship of the screen-printing process also gives a sense of value to something that was previously given away. The original image was mundane and impulsive, but now after being printed it could be considered intentional and given value.
4-Color process silkscreen from my original Instagram post.