The Netizen Observer
is a platform exploring what people do online.
Today, most of us live part-time online and that doesn't seem to change in the near future.
Online we live fast. How to take a step back to question what it actually is we see and do?
How does our online presence affect our daily lives and relationships?
Through different video series the platform explores different topics addressing digital culture. The aim is to invite netizens (citizens of the net) to explore their own online experience. Follow my digital-journey here.
Social media platforms are integrated in our daily lives. One of
the most popular platforms in use (at the moment of writing my
thesis) is Instagram: a mobile app to share photos. On the app
people showcase parts of their lives. The visual app empowers
people to control every detail of the story they tell about
themselves. At the same time, people use there real names and
share actual daily activities. It can be difficult to distinct fiction
from reality on an Instagram profile.
It is the performative aspect of Instagram that took my attention. People tend to show specific angles of their face, seek instagram-worthy moments and manipulate their everyday lives so that it fits their online impression management.
In this masterthesis I approach Instagram as ‘the Desired World,’ the protagonist goes on a journey exploring what the Desired World is like, how stories are built-up and why people desire to be part of it. The story of the play follows a classical storyline: the 12 steps of the Hero’s Journey. The book itself can be read in two ways. On the left page the play can be read. On the right page you’ll find dramaturgical notes full of comments and references.
On a daily basis we get in touch with many services who all
collect and store our personal information. What they collect and
why is written in their privacy policies. Texts casually published
on websites that nobody ever reads.
I decided to read the privacy policies of two influential companies that are part of my everyday life: Facebook and Google. Both entering my living room day after day. After carefully reading their policies I decided to compile and edit them by making two changes.
As part of a workshop in collaboration with
NOOR Images, we (our master
department) had the opportunity to work with NOOR’s photo archive.
This visual reader is made in collaboration with Nejma Boussaïd.
How do you read a journalistic photograph? This visual reader is an attempt to question the way we perceive journalistic photographs, and how easily we miss context. This visual reader explores images of the Yemeni Revolution by Yuri Kozyrev that were taken in May 2011. How do we look at such photographs from a western perspective? And most importantly, what is it that we don’t see?
There are many things we don’t know. Often we are not able to read an image correctly. Simply because of the context that we’re lacking. By introducing a photograph by description and asking questions about the context of the photograph before actually showing the image itself, we hope to raise awareness of how important it is for photographs to be contextualised.
One day a colleague expressed a highly specific prejudice with me:
he assumed that I only drink free mint tea. I told him that I am
into many other flavours as well. His reaction: 'Oh, in that case
you are definitely a latte-macchiato type of girl.' I was
surprised that he sounded so sure of himself. This small
conversation made me think about the way I categorise other people
in a similar way. I also started to wonder whether others
associate my appearance with fresh mint tea as well. I started to
question the thoughts of my colleague; was he conscious about the
assumptions he had of others?
What are first impressions based on? I tried to get answers through several experiments. My findings, outcomes and thoughts can be read in the book I made: Why My Colleague Thinks I only Drink Fresh Mint Tea.
How to start a conversation about prejudices and first
impressions? To explore this question, I decided to give away my
first impressions of others. I ask passengers if they are
interested in receiving a first impression to go. If so, I write
down what I see (changeable aspects of their appearance) and think
(my first thoughts I have about them). Afterwards, I ask them
whether they agree or not.
Every now and then the First Impression To Go Installation can still be found on festivals and other events to give their visitors an interesting and fun experience. Don't hesitate to contact me for more information and pricing.
With some fellow students I developed an audio tour for Unieboek
Spectrum, a publishing company. Today there is a lot changing in
the way we make things public; Unieboek Spectrum felt this as
well. Not only they felt that ‘things are changing’, they mainly
realised their position is changing because of their turnover. I
collaborated with 3 fellow students: Nadine van der Bijl, Twan
Eshuis and Job van Rijn. We were asked to create ‘something’ as an
answer on the following question: What is our position in the
We decided to find another way to experience a story. To present our creative process and thoughts during these 3 months, we developed an audio tour to guide them through their own work places. We shared our thoughts and and all things we found remarkable and interesting. This way we aimed to remind them of all the fascinating things they are surrounded by, but also to challenge them to look at their own workspace and habits in another way - and maybe even question what they see. This, in order to eventually answer their big question: who are they as a publishing company today?