How we present ourselves, or perform ourselves online has been the subject of discussion amongst sociologists since the dawn of Web 2.0 (the Internet used for social interactions/media) in the mid-late 2000s. In creating Convince Me I'd Rather Be With You, my interest has been to find spaces where people perform aspects of themselves in public and place my camera there. The project, started in 2011, has involved contacting people who placed personals ads on Craigslist and asking to take their portraits. When they allowed me to do this, the text of their ad is placed with the portrait.
While it appears that this is nothing more than an attempt to create (or recreate) a traditional personal ad (photo and description of person with their desires and attributes), it’s really a visual study of how people can present or perform their sense of self for a public, yet undefined, audience. When the person who placed the ad has no control over the way the paired portrait looks, does this change the meaning of the text? Does it illuminate it? Or does something else entirely different happen?