This event is Pay What You Can however space is limited so please book tickets.
[In 2013, the Guardian broke a series of stories detailing how Conservative Party Chairman Rt. Hon Grant Shapps MP had, apparently prior to being an MP, run a questionable internet marketing company called HowToCorp under the name of ‘Michael Green’, an internet marketing guru.]
Join Simon Farid as the ex-alter ego of Conservative Party Chairman Grant Shapps MP ‘Michael Green’ for a multimedia presentation/live webinar in which he discusses the secrets of hiscompany HowToCorp’s wild success, along with ideas about online identity, capitalism, avant-garde art and
how to be an internet marketing guru!
This 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 website, 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.
Simon Farid is a visual artist interested in the relationship between administrative identity and the body it purports to codify and represent. Taking on the role of a hacker or trickster, he looks to
playfully intervene in the identity-generation process, operating as ‘other people’ and enacting ways to counter emergent institutional identity confirmation mechanisms. A quick Google search will, of
course, reveal where he lives, works, what he looks like and information about other people with whom he shares his name.