the birthday album
The Birthday Album explores themes of nostalgia, ritual, memory, and the passage of time within the framework of the Internet. The project involves the creation and posting of illustrations based on actual childhood birthday party photographs. By allowing users to contribute their own childhood photographs for the artist to illustrate, the site serves as a manifestation of the communal and collaborative nature of the Internet. When illustrated, each photograph is slightly altered. Figures become faceless, objects are altered, people are removed. This act of altering and illustrating the photographs symbolizes the inevitable loss and alteration of memories with the passage of time. It also engages the idea of truth and validity within the context of the Internet. Does the act of publishing something to the web give it more truth? In an age where Photoshop is the norm, how can we distinguish an original image from an altered one? The faceless figures of the illustrations—much like anonymous Internet avatars—allow users to project themselves upon all of the birthday scenes, regardless of whether or not it is their submitted photograph. Each individual scene loses its original color and authorship. Instead, they are combined into one large, online photo album that can be viewed by all. This is our birthday album. Happy birthday.
Illustrations and poems by Nicolette Daskalakis. Poems originally published in "because you're now banging a French girl" and "All The Boys I Never Kissed." Illustrations originally published in "The Modern Girls" online zine.
collage / illustration