Tonia Larem is an emigma

tonia larem

Internet persona (ongoing)

Tonia Larem came into being in early 2009 as a precocious and flirty internet precence across multiple social media and blogging channels. It soon became apparent however that Facebook's rise in popularity was a signal to focus her attentions on a single platform. From the start it was her aim to spread the username and password to her account as widely as possible. She sees herself as fulfilling the internet's promise of anonymity that has been continuously violated in a recent times.

Contemporary spying, sneaking and stealing

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Net art and custom software, 2010

Quotes from the Paul Auster short story Ghosts were left on various profiles and pages as comments and posts. Tonia then wrote a Processing program to randomise the opacity and rate of the screen grabs. This program was exhibited in the Preface group show at Pallas Contemporary Projects 28-31 July 2010. Artists included Adrian Duncan, David Eager-Maher, Tonia Larem, Miranda Driscoll, Ciara McMahon, Roisin McNamee, Laragh Pittman & Kathy Tynan.

More images can be seen on the Facebook photo album.

Virtual identity made physical

the circular ruins

Mixed media collage / solvent transfer on paper, 2010

The Circular Ruins consists of five pieces of collaged text and a solvent transfer of the five layers put together. The text used, Jorge Luis Borges' short story The Circular Ruins, describes an imagined man becoming as real as the man imagining him. Exhibited in Phibsboro Tower as part of Phizzfest's Art Trail

Childhood's excitement

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Mixed media party bag, 2010

Tonia made a 'Going home bag' for the attendants of the Béal Music and Poetry Festival, Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, 3rd November 2010. The contents of the bags included a party invitation, limited edition photocopy portrait (stamped), name tag, CR coded envelope and a packet of sweets. The bag itself is a defacement of Hannah Montana.

Taking her message to the Streets

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Facebook album, 2011

For Ireland's 2011 election, Tonia was tired of the meaningless slogans and false promises. In reality, "EMPTY WORDS SEDUCE" describes Tonia as much as her feelings about politics.

More images here.

Tonia's foray into motion pictures

Internet video, 2011

An introduction to Tonia's journey up to mid 2011 - or at least one version of it. This mockumentary features a galaxy of stars praising Tonia and her exploits as only minor celebrities can.

Doomed attempt to mimic Tonia's "look"

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Android Application, 2011

The Tonia Yourself app lets you take photos with your phone's camera that mimic Tonia Larem's famous facebook "word" profile picture. The photos can be layered and saved to the SD Card. The app is also a method of spreading Tonia's log-in information and there is a link to her facebook page. The app was removed from the official Google Play store due to a torrent of abusive comments but it still exists in the internet ether.

A chance to own a piece of physical Tonia

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Crowd-sourced charity blind auction, 2011

For her piece in the New Living Art II exhibition at the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art, October 2011, Tonia invited her Facebook friends to re-interpret one of her profile pictures. For the duration of the exhibition, these unique prints were the subject of a blind and silent auction. Bidders submitted bids secretly in a box without knowing who the artist was and the money raised went to the suicide-prevention charity The 3Ts.

At the opening itself, Tonia was present in the form of a tablet computer logged-in to her Facebook account - documenting the evening.

Additional photography by IMOCA on Flickr.

Tonia Larem is an open-source Facebook persona for interacting anonymously. Username: tonialarem@hotmail.com Password: iamreal!