In this photograph from Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman’s Geolocation series, a lonely dog pokes his head through a screen door on a weather-beaten porch. Below the photograph, the artists provide a startling caption: “Two years ago today I lost my Dad … time sure flies! I miss you Dad. #RIP.” The Geolocation series mines publicly available GPS information embedded in Twitter updates to track the locations of user posts. The artists then travel to the actual locations and make photographs to mark the sites in the real world. The final images present the original text of the tweet underneath a photograph of the site from which it was sent. The sometimes incongruous combinations of location and language are alternately disarming, humorous, tragic, and poignant. Culling the digital material of our everyday lives and anchoring it to the spaces we inhabit, the artists compel you to reconsider the intersections between public and private, virtual and real, spoken and seen.
Nate and I talk a lot about the idea of virtual touch in our work. The Internet does that: it gets too close and it feels real, but it isn’t…but it is still. We’re making memorials to these virtual tweets that are a million things you would never think of, never care about. But we pull one out and make this incredibly formal photograph from it and memorialize it.