Craigslist Inspires Art

In an interesting turn of the W4W dialogue, my friend  Lily Ann Page made an art installation and performance piece inspired completely from Craigslist W4W postings around the San Francisco Bay Area. Her artist statement is

Spunky Femme in Town! (21-Berkeley Hills)

Spunky Femme in Town!-21-Berkeley Hills

“I have created an installation filled with real bay area Craigslist postings of W4W personal ads. I’m very interested in the information they choose to disclose or not disclose, the pictures they choose to show or not to show…The way women present themselves online can change drastically from who the woman really is, or how she sees herself.”

It’s an interesting idea–she creates a box for herself furnished entirely from Craigslist postings (craigslist is like a self contained, more than slightly insular little box) and performs different posts. She literally is performing Criagslist. Her performances could be a little bit more outlandish, with a little bit more discord between what is advertised and what is depicted. They could also include a little bit more arbitrary capitalizations/misspellings.  What’s provoking is the idea of being inside of Craigslist, as Craigslist as a physical entity that one can inhabit and build one’s identity around (anyone who’s posted knows what it feels like on some level).

It begs the question: how do W4W personals shape/display identity? How much is real/performed?

This isn’t strictly Portland, but Lily is moving here in June for an indefinite period of time (you just know she’s going to get sucked into the gay vortex of Portland and never, ever leave).

I want to wake up next to you!!!-20 Pittsburgh/Antioch

I want to wake up next to you!!!-20 Pittsburgh/Antioch

Stud Seeks Soft Butch-24-Mission

Stud Seeks Soft Butch-24-Mission

On a personal note, I find that people are often deceptive on Craigslist. Its not always intentional. When you don’t know someone, you will imagine that parts that you don’t know and will fit what you do know into what you want to be true. I’ve posted and responded to posts and even though it appears that there is a fair amount of activity on it, its pretty darn difficult to actually find someone on it who you connect with. For me it usually ends after date #1.  Maybe if I was hanging out in casual encounters section, things  might last longer.

1 comment to Craigslist Inspires Art

  • Brittany

    One of the most interesting things about online dating ads and the people who post them is many have said they would never do it. But they do. Why? Because we all want someone to share our lives with. I’m one of those that can accept the fact that it is possible for me to, sometime in my future, post an ad searching for my female soul mate. I just haven’t gotten there yet.

    The background of the photographs are pretty amazing.