I created visuals using a photo portrait of Em Cole, responding to her poem Tributes for Syrup magazine. The poem details Em’s own experiences around consent, online abuse, and obsession. Her social media images were stolen and exploited; they now sit in chatrooms on dark parts of the web, being violated by men. They deface her image, print it for masturbation and create an idealised, fantasy version of her. Em’s digital doppelganger exists in these chatrooms, and I responded to this with two images – one representing her doppelganger, an online phantom, haunting her as she is reproduced. The second, representing how her images have been distributed. They are shared, printed, reframed, and re-made. I represented this as a digital glitch – her multiple false selves and her true self all existing at once. An image and a real girl trapped in a digital, rape-culture glitch.
© Lily Jones 2020