REPURPOSE

Snapchat Memories

Liminality is standing at the threshold between one space and another. Often times, we experience the phenomenon in empty physical spaces. Examples include elevators and hallways. My project deals with two questions:

  1. How is liminality expressed in the digital trail that we leave behind?
  2. Are spaces more liminal currently due to the coronavirus?

To begin, I downloaded all of my Snapchat memories on my phone from September 2016 to March 2020. Snapchat memories are images that the user saves, which is stored for eternity. My dataset consisted of about 1300 images. Then, I created a model with StyleGAN in Runway ML. Afterwards, I printed about 30 images. I sought to have my fake Snapchat memories invade my physical space in liminal locations, such as an empty classroom or subway. The majority of the images contain a reference to the pandemic.

I created a mobile application with SwiftUI that contains my cursed Snapchat images. I emphasized the fact that these pictures are from the social media application. In my screen recording, I also show an interpolation video that sets the tone. For the audio, I edited the music from Snapchat advertisements. By performing this exercise, I learned that people enjoy social media because they provide context in our lives. By removing my identity from the images, the media became more cursed.

I realized that liminal empty spaces appear more safe due to the pandemic. I question how our memories and relationship with physical spaces have altered due to the coronavirus. Lastly, I contemplate the moment in which a Snapchat image becomes a Snapchat memory.

What is the point in which an image is so far in the past, the content appears foreign to us?