Asserting that ‘we are everywhere’ is probably more convincing than the claim that ‘I am everywhere”. Nonetheless it doesn’t take much suspension of disbelief before I’m able to convince myself that indeed “I am everywhere” – after all, I’ve been billing myself as ‘an ego maniac on a world historical scale’ for years! Recently I stumbled upon someone on Goodreads with my name who has been promoting my books rather energetically over there – unfortunately this Stewart Home can’t possibly be me since he joined the site in July 2007 (whereas I joined yesterday) and he’s based in the USA. My author profile at Goodreads is here.
When I read what other people write about me it can often seem like I’ve been even busier than I actually am. Reviewing my recent White Columns show in the New York Times on on 18 November, Roberta Smith wrote: “A brochure written by Mr. Home explains a lot, if not everything. For that, there is his lavishly detailed Wikipedia entry, which also appears to be his handiwork.” To me the entry in question has an inconsistency which makes it obvious it is a collective effort rather than mine. I suspect that some of the imbalances in the article are the result of other people using Wikipedia to promote themselves. For example, while many of my books and exhibitions are passed over without discussion, there is a bizarre passage about the Evening Falls nightclub (including the fallacious claim that I didn’t read there). Likewise, when I last checked, no one had updated my list of exhibitions on this Wikipedia page to include my recent White Columns outing.
Moving on, I’ve also seen some nutjob using web 2.0 comment facilities to allege that I write my own Amazon reviews…. of course they offered no proof, and had obviously missed the fact that I just don’t take the user generated content on that site very seriously. As you’ve probably gathered by now, way too many of my leisure hours are spent reading about myself for me to have the time to write reviews of my own books for Amazon. Likewise, it will come as little surprise to most of my readers that one of the things I love about the web is the way it allows everyone to turn over their own past – and in some cases rediscover material they’d pretty much forgotten. I didn’t have any images of the Anon exhibition I’d been a part of in Luton back in 1989 until John Wynne posted some photographs of it on his Facebook profile. I immediately snaffled those featuring my contributions and added them to my Flickr photostream – where they look absolutely fantastic in an utterly weird eighties appropriated post-pop art kind of way. Likewise, earlier this year I finally got around to putting an image of my ‘original’ Art Strike Bed onto Flickr, done several years before Tracey Emin attempted to recuperate this particular assault of mine on the sensibilities of the London art establishment.
I could use this piece as an opportunity to write about how I’m attempting to replace the planking fad with a craze for photos of people standing on their head – there are currently a dozen pictures of me doing headstands on my Flickr profile (see if you can find them all). However, rather than banging on about my topsy-turvy online presence, I’m now going to get even more self-referential and obsessive. What I’d like readers of this blog to do is tell me in the comments below whether I used the best possible title for this post, or whether I should have reversed it so that it ran: “Reclaiming my future, occupying my past”?
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – www.stewarthomesociety.org – you know it makes (no) sense!
Tags: 1980s, 80s, Amazon, Anon, appropriation, Art Strike Bed, eighties, Evening Falls, Facebook, Flickr, Goodreads, headstand, John Wynne, Luton, planking, Roberta Smith, Stewart Home, Tracey Emin, Web 2.0, White Columns, Wikipedia