Love explores the shapeshifting nature of language on the internet. In the video, images extracted from the Instagram platform–all found under #love–are transformed and integrated with original footage shot by the artist. The work began as an Instagram residency with Dazibao in the summer of 2021. #love is the most used hashtag on Instagram and currently there are over 2 billion posts that are tagged in this way. Online, the meaning of a word can be morphed by the contexts in which it is found and the associated images it has accrued. If each of the 2 billion posts using #love provides a new context for the word, it becomes nearly impossible to determine any fixed meaning for the term. Connecting seemingly disparate images, Love tries to understand and link all of the possible associations of a given word at a single moment in time through narrative. A voiceless narrator—a loose personification of the Instagram platform or perhaps even the internet itself— addresses the viewer in the form of a love letter. They express an understanding of love and describe a relationship based around the diverse imagery and sometimes illogical associations created by #love.
Digital publication for Love from Dazibao is available for free download HERE
“Love” 4K Video, 00:07:42, Soundtrack by Anna Hawkins and Collin Johanson (2 min. excerpt - full video available upon request)