A digital extension of Simon Farid’s, ‘Michael Green’s How to Bounce Back from Recession’.
The work is a part of a practice Simon is developing around ‘identity squatting‘; hijacking and residing in pre-constructed identities like state-made identities used by undercover policemen. This work is a little less serious in that it is focussed on the identity ‘Michael Green’ which was created by current Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps MP when he was running a questionable internet marketing company.
When Green’s activities came to light, all record of his company HowToCorp was hastily deleted. In this work Simon brings the identity and the company back to life, verbatim re-creating his old webiste, giving him a facebook and twitter presence and giving live performances in his name.
In some senses this work is a journalistic exercise, concerned with better disseminating Shapps’ actions over this period. But deeper than that, it explores the different possibilities the internet offers us in terms of our self-representation, linking this to the culture of online affiliate marketing, which is inherently deceptive.
With UPstream Simon will push this further by performing a series of live-streamed ‘webinars’. Liveness here is integral to the investigation into what Michael Green is now. Alongside the webinars Simon will re-awaken Michael Green’s social media presence and look to integrate the liveness of the ‘webinars’ with his overall narrative development.
This project is also supported by using public funds by Arts Council England.