White Flag residency

Placed flags

Above: A small selection of flags placed through Facebook frames superimposed on photos during the residency. Click to view more images of actions during the residency.

The White Flag networked residency on Facebook took place in February 2018. Its purpose was to crowdsource flag designs for networks, that is flags that symbolise the ideals, principles, essence, realism or failure of ‘virtual’ and networked spaces, from Facebook users. Throughout the residency users were encouraged to create and submit flag designs through a website/app created by the artist. These were subsequently employed by the artist as part of ongoing performative actions addressing ideas of ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ space. Flag designs were voted on at the end of the month with the intention of being used in the creation of an artwork after the residency that would manifest the ‘virtual’ flags in a ‘real’ way.

Each action during the residency, that is every post, frame, photo and video created, employed location and flags. Posts to Facebook used the Check-in feature to ‘virtually’ visit a location relevant to the post and place a flag, specifically a #whiteflag hashtag. Photos were taken at locations visited using the Facebook camera and it’s Frame feature, which superimposed flags designed by Facebook users with the White Flag website/app. This allowed ‘virtual’ flags to be placed in ‘real’ locations. Videos were created using Facebook’s Live Video feature. These entailed superimposing a character frame onto the artist while he created flags as a background location of the video using the White Flag website/app or placing flags in distant locations. The videos either visually simulated locations or created imagined or hybridised locations that were ‘virtually’ visited to create or place a flag.

The purpose of all actions was therefore to explore/visit numerous interpretations of ‘virtual’, ‘real’ and imagined spaces. In a time when all types of space (public, social, online etc.) are being overrun by government and corporate interests the placing of flags designed by Facebook users was a symbolic reclaiming of spaces for their users/inhabitants. The totality of all the actions undertaken during the residency is the performance. It produced a substantial body of media to be acted on and within by users/inhabitants during its creation who through it effectively occupied, personalised, shared and ultimately folded spaces together.

Above: A speed scroll of the Facebook timeline containing the majority of content created during the residency.

The following is a breakdown of media produced during the residency:

  • 100 posts to Facebook. All posts can be viewed on Facebook on the Peripheral Forms timeline or above in the speed scroll video.
  • 74 flag proposals designed by Facebook users using the White Flag website/app. All flag proposals can be viewed here.
  • 38 Facebook frames, 31 employing a selection of the flag proposals by Facebook users, 4 of characters that were used for portraits and 3 thematic frames.
  • 102 photos employing the 31 Facebook frames employing a selection of the flag proposals by Facebook users. The photos can be viewed here.
  • 4 photos employing Facebook frames of characters. The photos can be viewed here.
  • 19 videos, 13 featuring a selection of flags designed by Facebook users 8 of which were superimposed into a distant location (the Flag for a Location series) and 5 superimposed into a combined imagined space (the Flag for Imagined Space series), 2 featuring flags inspired by Facebook (the Flag for Facebook series) and 4 employing Facebook frames of characters while creating flags using the White Flag website/app (the Revolution Figurehead series). All videos can be viewed here on Facebook.
  • A Google Map (below) of all locations where flags were placed with a meta-narrative of the residency explaining briefly the rationale of each action’s location and flag. Post locations are labelled with a flag icon on the map (another ‘virtual’ flag planted at that location), photo locations are labelled with a camera icon and video locations are labelled with a video camera icon.

Above: A Google Map of all locations employed in the White Flag residency.

The White Flag residency was hosted and curated by Peripheral Forms as part of the Idyllic series of residencies throughout 2018.

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