OtherPeoplesPixels Artists & Social Media Series: Julia Barbee’s Social Scents

Portland-based artist Julia Barbee wants to know what you smell like. Or, at least what type of scent you would select based on your ecommerce profile or a Craigslist ad that you post. Barbee wanders into that strange strip of creative space between fine art and high fashion, adding touches of anonymous Internet moments along the way. In the portfolio section on her website, she lists her social media projects and offline, physical artworks, which often inform each other. She is interested in the temporal aspects of one’s identity, including experiences of the visual, the auditory and the ephemeral. Barbee received her MFA in 2011, graduating magna cum laude from California State University at Long Beach.

This is the fourth post in a five-part series about how artists use social media. Read the previous three posts about artists Jake MyersSabina Ott and Ellen Greene. Have ideas for a topic you’d really like covered on the OPP blog? Email us at blog [at] otherpeoplespixels.com.

Alicia Eler: One of the first Web-only pieces on your site that I noticed was Oral in which you post images of your mouth missing teeth, post-bike accident, to social media sites. The inspiration is taken from something that happened to your physical body, but the project itself exists only online through images. Tell me about the project. Could it have worked offline?

Julia Barbee: A local fashion writer published an article about my bike accident in response to my first Facebook image and status update. It created an audience in the newspaper’s online readership. I was posting images with a personal Facebook account. The text responses became an important part of the screenshots I kept to document that work. This was before I decided to change my Facebook to only a business page. While on bed rest from my accident, I started a personal Pinterest account as well, and pinned many of those images there. I exhibited the Oral series of portraits offline in an installation for a show called Content 2012 at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. I launched a new perfume called “Couple Found Dead in the Fragrance Hotel,” taken from a word search of “hotel, perfume, and crime.” I am using documentation from the Content show to sell “The Couple Found Dead in the Fragrance Hotel” perfume on Etsy.

Read the full post on the OtherPeoplesPixels Blog: http://blog.otherpeoplespixels.com/artists-social-media-series-julia-barbees-soc