The Artist, The Subject and 21st Century-style Exploitation

Here’s a link to a news story that another fellow at Eyebeam, Kaho told me about:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/184528/abc-2020-fri-oct-8-2010

It tells the story of the making of a documentary called “catfish”. I’m not sure how interesting the actual documentary is (haven’t seen it) but the 20/20 news story is a cheesy/sensationalized/as-you-would-expect look into online identity and deception in the 21st century. Or the power interplay between an artist and his subject: who is exploiting who and for what ends.

If you can stand to make it to the end, there is a metaphor about a “catfish” which trumps everything anyone else says in the entire thing. It would be interesting to compare notions of “exploitation” and “manipulation” in this story with the “discovery” and “canonization” of another american artist  henry darger.

ps: while reading the wikipedia page on henry darger I noticed this interesting fact/fiction:

“In her coffee table bookInfluenceMary-Kate Olsen cited Darger as one of her favorite painters.”

That reminds me for some reason of how Ke$ha was recently reading the “oral history of a band called the pixies” (at 1:29):