One day, walking through the Raval, we told each other what we were up to, projects, thoughts, ideas. A book that one of us was reading - en defensa de la conversación - caught the attention of the other. It was a book about the new ways of communicating of the generations that have known the networks all their lives.
It would be interesting, we thought, to ask them about their way of communicating. One of us told of a family dinner, where a 16-year-old niece showed the whole family a video of herself crying. Without special intimacy, this video of emotional expression that would be private for us, was for her material suitable for all audiences.
We decided to investigate how adolescents understand their communication.

In the previous experiences we had with students in high school classes we realised that the mutual listening part was missing. We are used, as adults, to giving information in a closed way, as if it were "the truth" and with the pretension that the students learn these explanations and repeat them. There is a very marked power relationship.

We are not trying to innovate, nor to solve issues that do not belong to us, but we are looking for a way to find out what our descendants think.

We wanted to open a space to present the issues that concern us and listen to the adolescents, without a previous idea, without right or wrong answers.

We started with a brainstorm, which soon turned into a deluge. In the conversation between the two of us one topic led to the other, in an associative way. Here are some of the ideas, themes or curiosities that emerged:

  • The relationship between the artistic genre of the self-portrait, and the self-portrait life on social networks. How teenagers think about the way they portray or present themselves. What they think about influencers, people who live or are very successful in self-presentation. If they appear happy, what about expressions of pain, sadness or loneliness?
    Memory, retouched images and edited or edited memory.

The disappearance of boredom, this unstructured time that we remember from our adolescence, of letting our thoughts flow, sleeping, lowering our state of vigilance. What happens to boredom in the constant input of networks? When do you leave unstructured time? What drives you to pick up your mobile phone? Are young people aware of this disappearance, or is it already naturalised?

Re-Cor-Dar (give the heart again)
The relationship between remembering and recording. Recording began as a way of preserving memory but now we are confronted with the digital as ethereal: you can't look back, networks don't have memories but a constant flow of images and noises. Spontaneity versus editing or montage.

Thinking things without an audience
What part of me exists when I'm not looking? Who is your audience?
Why do you need to share? What do you share?
Not sharing, who wants to be anonymous?
Everyone is a protagonist
freedom in the networks

From all these lines of thought, we decided on a few, and selected some videos that present these themes.

The process
We did 6 classes in total, in an art baccalaureate.
As an example, we will describe the first session:
Theme: creating for yourself or creating with an audience in mind.

We chose the video How to Be a Recluse
Text of the video *


After the video, we ask the students to stand up and position themselves closer to the pole that represents their opinion.

  •     At one pole was: someone puts something out of their head, and is automatically doing an act of communication (has an imaginary or real audience).
  •     At the other pole: someone puts something out of creative/expressive need, and forgets or leaves behind the thought of a possible audience.

Then we asked them to explain their choice, and we talked about it.
In the same way we dealt with several of the issues we thought of at the beginning.
The findings - things that the teenagers have said that we found very interesting:

People on the networks are like people you've known for a couple of weeks - not that you're telling them lies, but there's no level of intimacy to tell depending on what things.

Inspiring videos to open debates and suggestions
Out loud. Gilles Deleuze's courses at Vincennes, by Emma Ingala Gómez
On the feeling of pain, talking to the camera.
Portrait of adolescence in the 1980s in Canada.
self-portrait, video as healing
about the work
on memory
on violence/memory