A capture of an interactive website covered with glyphs and symbols in regular patterns; an arc of flowers with gradient intensity shows how the movement of the user's cursor affects the content of the site
Screengrab of Maya Man's interactive website shift reality instantly ~ {very powerful}, 2022


Maya Man

by Outland

In her critical investigations of online experiences of girlhood and femininity, Maya Man applies the methods of creative coding. The result is a body of work that foregrounds the computational environment for the performance of identity on social media, and how the algorithms of TikTok and Instagram target and mold users’ feelings. Man takes a nuanced, ambivalent approach to her subject matter. Reviewing Fake It Til You Make It (2023), a generative project based on the language and look of women’s wellness memes, Tara Kenny notes that Man’s social media presence draws on the aesthetics and positive attitude of influencers, even while “making art that embraces the complexity of that process, including accompanying feelings of confusion, shame, and anxiety.”

In this virtual studio visit with Outland, Man shares her interactive generative art project on fxhash, which recently became the source for a series of quilts. She also gets deep into theories of social media, expounding on how girls are trained in the arts of self-surveillance, the pernicious seduction of TikTok’s algorithms, the impact of the language of “main characters” and “NPCs,” and the odd behavior observed in Instagram comments, which were a primary source of material for her NFT collection Ugly Bitches, made in collaboration with Ann Hirsch.

Essays produced in a writing workshop hosted by Outland and Art Blocks offer new perspectives on art, code, and web3. The Generative Art Issue

A softly blurred and glowing digital image evoking braided threads, folding over each other in swirling patterns
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