Using images posted with hashtags connecting them to the respective cities of #Detroit and #Windsor this work looks at the ways in which cities are presented as part of the performative, social media identities of the users. The collections of images sit across one another as the cities do; inviting comparison, suggesting similarity and difference. Together but distinct.
The city of Detroit figures heavily in the collective imagination of Windsorites, though that directed gaze is not returned by Detroiters. This discrepancy manifests in the pictures posted, often #Windsor images are actually views of #Detroit, a theme not reciprocated.
Performing #Detroit, Performing #Windsor collects representations of user’s environments, which through the narrative building thread of a hashtag, become a de facto, crowdsourced portrait of a city. Rather than a purely documentarian view, the images posted reflect the projected desires and aspirations of the users. Themes emerge that point back towards the user’s perceptions of the city, and the elements they seek to use in representations of themselves online.
Images reproduced with permission from: @detroit.rad, @red.morning.light, @keysguymarc, @kingdom_chelizzz, @jpinthe313, @lynd_myskowski, @willdeak, @__blubird, @urbansurfco, @windsorupdates, @prem.madhvani, @kaemusic, @dianebondyyoga (photo:Jason Amlin), @christa.maria, @forbsea, @juiceg22, @roam.universal