Documented Dialogues
| Documented Dialogues >

No. 1: Paula Nacif & David Hall

Documented Dialogues
No. 1:
Paula Pinho Martins Nacif & David Hall


| Documented Dialogues No. 1 > is a conversation between artists Paula Pinho Martins Nacif & David Hall. The dialogue takes place on Instagram and draws on the potential and constraints of contemporary platform/medi(a)um specific work and practices. The exchange itself moves through various concerns of digital mediation and expands the communicative effects of such platforms and frameworks.

We might begin by asking, "How do social media platforms complicate the artistic conventions of expression, representation, and identity?"

You can jump to a transcript of their conversation by clicking here.



Above you will find video of Paula and David's conversation as it happened, as well as screen shots of the conversation for reading this dialogue in its actual media. Below is a transcript; in copy-paste-able + searchable text...

David Hall: Hihihi
Paula Nacif: Hihihihi
DH: So, I’m thinking of starting this conversation out a bit broadly - maybe beginning here with a few things I have been thinking about and then moving into some of your posts and your site and whatever other links you want to share.
DH: I’m curious as to how Instagram as a medium might also be lending itself to other forms of labor / economic structures - I mean, there is obviously the corporate point of ownership and propriety, but what I find most interesting is the ability to “sell.”
Maybe that’s a way of saying that I wonder to what extent Instagram artists, or artists who use Instagram, use it as a form of “career development”.
PN: Lol yeah that’s funny cuz just yesterday I made a post 2 tell ppl that I’m taking freelance commissions again.
This 1 lol.
DH: I don’t know - I’m very reluctant with social media in general - I perform poorly there - so I’m curious about artists who see some potential that they can “easily” access / employ.
PN: I mean it’s funny because I never considered it as a place 4 “career development” or anything close to that until maybe 2 yrs ago or so??
Bc clients started DMing me. 
Like more than email.
It was weird and at first I was like wtf
DH: Yeah.
PN: But I guess -- from my xperience at least I end up posting a lot of my work - excerpts or work in progress’s #wip or sometimes completed things if they r loops bc I use my phone to make so much of my work.
And also sometimes if I’m making a video or an image on my computer I have to see how it looks on my phone too.
DH: I guess this also has to do with the authenticity that social media appears to have - people are really there, you know?
PN: Yuppp
DH: Right, yeah.
PN: Lololol ppl like ur stuff on social media b4 they answer ur texts.
*this is a call out*
^to me as well LOL^
DH: Hahahaha.
Yeah, there is some allowance for some kind of transferral or circumvention - we all know the profile isn’t you but is.
I think this might be turning into a question now - or something closer to a question - about tropes within social media and specifically Instagram.
PN: Ooooo
DH: I don’t know the history of it that well, outside a lot of media coverage around *general terror*
PN: General terror lol.
DH: But, I remember all of these overly produced instagram accounts, specifically with white girls perpetually on holiday, that “came to the press” and revealed the extraordinary and detrimental effects maintaining an account like that has.
So there was performance all of a sudden.
And there was sincerity too.
PN: Ohhhhh yeah I remember that moment.
DH: And that all got quickly washed away but the endless stream of their images.
And then I feel like kind of blew up that trope.
I noticed a lot of friends starting “ironically” posting things they were actually doing.
PN: Mmhmmmm yeah
I think it’s also when ppl started making multiple accounts
DH: Like I get that $10 juice is funny in the right context, but there’s another confluence or reality people aren’t willing to necessarily suspend - like buying a $10 juice.
PN: Like 1 that’s public - 1 that’s private - 1 that’s super private.
DH: I don’t know - maybe I’m missing the point.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is how are you navigating these layered notions of sincerity and authenticity?
PN: U mean abt ppl “ironically” but actually buying $10 juice or the point about the eternal vacation girls coming 2 the public about their pain?
DH: I think I find a lot of irony in your posts.
Maybe both. 
Not so much the vacay girls.
PN: Hmmmm I use a lot of photo editing + selfie + social networking apps like Facetune, Perfect365, Line, SNOW, Snapchat, etc etc.
DH: Maybe it’s the general response - that people don’t treat other mediums that way, necessarily. (That most certainly has happened in the past). I think more about its consequences on and for “accountability”.
PN: for me it’s an xperiment abt authenticity / sincerity / xploration of identity / time / labor / fun / for sure.
DH: Like this one - there’s a lot that could be interpreted, or something, here. 
PN: Yea so I like to xplore what those apps I mentioned above have to offer.
DH: Right - yeah yes.
PN: I rly like Line because there’s sooooo much content, a lot of it is user generated too - and u can download these sticker packs and frames.
There’s like soooooo many of them.
DH: What do you think they offer you and your practice?
Yes, right.
PN: And so that pic is of @glamhag - molly hewitt - she’s my collaborator. 
And so she has this bb phone case.
And so I bought that bb bottle charm.
Bc she’s all about the bb life.
DH: The bb package.
PN: And then I put that cute glittery fram bc it looks like cute baby lacy girly mood.
DH: Rad - yes moods.
PN: I like it especially when these apps that r often used to achieve “beauty” “clean” “perfect” moods and looks go the opposite way too.
Or like -- further than xpected.
Like I’m super into wat ppl call “aesthetic Instagrams” - like those ppl that post super minimal and like overhead beautiful pix of their food and juice and amazing clean calm collected and moderately fun lifestyle and everything is brightly lit and neutral colors only.
DH: Right - pushing these forms and formats beyond a logical conclusion.
PN: I think it’s similar to how I use these apps tho except I look for maximalist bitchy crazy 2 many sparkles mood.
DH: Yesyesyes - the aesthetic lyfestle.
PN: Ya like this is an early xperimentation w/ Perfect365 app.
I was soooo into facetune at this time and I would just watch vids of girls editing their faces on their phones 2 look perfect. 
But it’s rly hard to make urself look good in these apps actually.
Like don’t get me wrong lol.
DH: Hahaha.

PN: So I was like oh if I just put 100% to every setting and don’t tweak the facial recognition then it’s probably gonna look freaky.

But like pretty freaky :-) I think it’s a beautiful thing to see what the app wants 2 make. 

When it’s at 100%.

DH: Yeah, sort of thinking about how these sort of applications can quickly reveal how constructed / rigid their environment is.

PN: Yeah :-)

Like facial recognition is built in a rly racist && reductive way 

It only wants to see certain faces (prefers white aryan looking things).

So like a lot of these apps when I use them on myself or on ppl w/ non-white-Euro-centric features it looks wrong.  

That’s also another thing I’m xploring w these images.

DH: Right - that POC aren’t the target audience - or that there is that type of a template with these sorts of enterprises. 

PN: Like on a daily basis I like to see what Snapchat / Snow / wtv filters fit my face.

Well it’s also that the software engineers that are making and testing these products r mainly white males - Snapchat for example.

But it’s interesting bc this is mirrored in surveillance technology.

DH: Right - the sort of outsourcing of corporate technologies serving other purposes. 

PN: Right.
DH: Like those human recognition puzzles on Google that have you pick all the squares with a helicopter in.
PN: Oh yeah!
And numbers from buildings in Google Street View.
DH: Right. Yeah.
PN: The other day I failed one bc I didn’t really recognize this pic of a mountain.
Thought it was a hill lmao
DH: That seems like a nice place to end. We’re already at 40 minutes - I had no idea.


|Documented Dialogues> Bonus Materials:
Paula Nacif's "404: Paradise Not Found"


About Paula Pinho Martins Nacif:

i am a Brazilian-->­Portuguese #gURL, #artist && #organizer living in London, UK.

In #2017 i'm thinking about #sincerity, #memes, #money,
#hypervisibility && #obfuscation,
#sparklygifs, #cutestuff and #WeaponsAgainstMassDestruction.

i hope to #infiltratewithlove

vimeo / newhive / twitter 

instagram / facebook 


David Hall writes in sentences and often works with materials already charged with significance.