I made FEELS LIKE SPAM as a reaction to a warning I had received via Tinder.
The language that was used was really fascinating to me.
This digital application, that has no feeling, was telling me what I felt like.
This digital application, that is based around fantasies of intimacy and entices users with the ultimate goal of human touch or “feels”, was telling me I felt like something, and that it wasn’t something good.
It was spam.
I was told I felt like spam.
This word was just as intriguing, because unlike Tinder, spam exists in the physical world, on the shelves of many a gas station and grocery store.
Yet it also exists online.
Upon further research, I discovered that the origin of the online “spam”, as is used to describe unwanted advertisements or e-mails, was actually taken from the mass-produced, pink, processed meat product.
Feels. Spam. Tinder. Pink. Meat. Warning.
The idea for the video began as a feminist one, referencing the way women’s bodies are policed not only by men in real time, by applications that are untouchable and ever present. And while this is a major issue and is true, this was not what was going on here, because I hadn’t put any part of my body online.
My Tinder has been used for mainly for different art practices and as an offbeat marketing technique to get more traction on my website (which was always the only text in my bio). My profile has always been very elusive, with strange images ranging from pictures of me as a baby to wearing creepy masks in spandex to the Facebook Fox with it’s rear in the air to a manipulated version of the brunette Emoji to my most recent installation of my stylized Bitmoji character.
When I was reported, it was because I HADN’T put my body online.
And THAT is a whole other issue.
I played by all the social media rules and kept my clothes on, yet going to the extreme of not showing my body at all yielded the same exact warning sign.
That is the conversation I wanted to start with this piece.
I don’t want to put any images of my body online.
This should not be a cause for concern.
Yet it is.
Because it “Feels Like Spam.”