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16 May 2022
This month's topic: #Pumpupthevolume! Adolescents & digital cultureResident Editor: Federica Matelli


are you there?
how you doing?
let’s start
as i told you, i really wanted to speak with you
this conversation will be part of a text, or will be the text itself, of an article I was asked to write about puberty
there are two people i will talk with
and the text will come from both conversations
to begin could you introduce yourself
my name is Julia, 16 years old
anything else?
what pronouns would you like me to refer to you with?
preferably he/him
when I saw you for the first time I felt a breath of fresh air, you seem like a free person who dictates their own rules of the game
in several ways
do you agree?
yes partly yes
if you feel like it, i would like you to explain that in more detail
i wouldn’t describe myself as free but it is true that I don’t care about norms or social constructs. i trust my own reasoning and when I don’t see the point of something I declare it useless and ignore it
on an aesthetic level, what do you value? how do you choose your aesthetic? what do you base it on? what do you discard? what do you declare as useless?
everything okay?
no answer?
as my personality, a bit childish, makes me feel somewhat insecure, i like for my interior to contrast with my exterior because i find that interesting. i usually dress in black but I don’t worry too much about it because i don’t care what other people think very much
i like to write well
when you say childish personality, what do you mean?
ugh it’s a long story but I’ll try to sum it up
there’s no rush
i have other abilities and it took me a while to find that out but it made me distance myself from people. as I got older I began to act dumber unconsciously but that’s how I managed to make good friends. this role playing stuck among the people closest to me and they don’t take me seriously
what do you mean by other abilities?
high IQ
how did you find out?
an elementary school teacher noticed and did some tests on me
yes, it’s true that you often seem distant but at the same time you are super empathic when you speak, super aware and you also have an incredible involvement in things that motivate you, it’s quite obvious
well i wouldn’t say empathic
why not?
i find it hard to put myself in the shoes of others, when I do it is because I’ve gone through something similar and I can make comparisons
do you have the material we talked about? things that bother you, get you excited, move you, like photos, frames, memes, lyrics

the fried chicken
what’s the last one?
a song
in what language?
I ask so I can look for the lyrics
oh I don’t know I’ll check

Uh, yeah!
Mass…produce lifestyle with no easy way out of this hell
Freedom goes fast, enjoy it while you got it before your time’s up and you reach the last minute
Merci, au revoir
Pride shades the truth deep within you, create yourself a new view
If tired of comin’ up short, sleep until the whistle, Halftime!
Climax, daydreaming, All in!
Lines of lust and love are blurred
This burning feeling explodes
Will your true feelings show?
I kept walking on the wild side
I don’t wanna fall asleep throughout my life
Sometimes in a Clyde Barrow style
Sometimes like a James Bond mind
Can’t sensor me if I keep singing, keep rapping, keep telling the truth like Malcom X
My fate is worth it if it’s after this
To all the Gods I ask: what is after death?
Turmoil in my heart, it has to end
Following your mind, with that wisdom you’ll ascend
Now before we go, tell me what’s the plan
Is it time for one last dance?

is that it??
and the dog?
It’s my dog
what’s it called????
it’s super cool
she’s a bit silly
i have a better photo
go ahead
i like it better
change of subject, do you feel comfortable talking about gender?
i would like very much to know what you think of this whole matter. how you live it, if you have always felt respected or if you’ve suffered, but what most interests me is your vision and reflection on the oppressive social construction of dividing things into two traditional genders.
That is, if it doesn’t bother you and you don’t mind wading into controversy.
if does, then nothing.
no worries.
be yourself.
what you have to say seems very important to me.
listen, I have to go now, but I would really like to continue, is that cool?
well i´ll write you so you can have my answer
tomorrow I’m free all day until 5:00 p.m. and all morning sunday
brilliant! there are more things I would like to share with you
if you can and want to, that would be cool
well tomorrow morning
what time?
see you here
a hug and thanks!
here we go!
gender is another social construct I don’t understand, but it’s very hard to explain why. i like that there are more and more people on the non-binary spectrum because you can see the difference in mentality between people who understand it and those who don’t. that said, that kind of thinking could coincide with radical feminism, which, if i’m not mistaken, fights for the abolition of gender, among other things. the problem is that i’ve personally seen many transphobic attacks justified by feminism or terf arguments that have made me reject feminism.
hello! good morning, after reading your answer yesterday i wondered what TERF was and i looked it up. i see that it’s about a JK Rowling tweet, but I can’t find it…
transphobia, I understand from the feminist side… is that it?
trans-exclusionary radical feminist
have you ever been bullied?
yesterday you told me that you played dumb to be accepted
to put it in a simplified way
and it shocked me
i wouldn’t call it bullying
what would you call it?
it’s just that there were people who didn’t like me
are you downplaying the situation?
i don’t know (crying emoji) I never felt it was bullying
what music do you listen to?
i don’t listen to much music but i like pop punk and indie rock
any specific band? please? : )
nirvana, green day, the fratellis, the killers
the strokes, mother mother
that’s a surprise, i mean here we have something in common
I’m not very underground in terms of music
yesterday i told you about the sense of freedom i have when meeting people with criteria as solid as yours (which doesn’t imply that they can’t change) and at the same time I felt very challenged by some aesthetic tensions and contradictions that you have and that i like a lot. i’d like you to tell me about them, I know you told me that you do what makes sense to you, but perhaps we can dig a little deeper
you are a person who wears long bangs, covering your face, incredible bangs, thick and which work as a shield, mask and helmet
I personally am fascinated
how long have you been wearing your hair like that?
less than a year
and how do you feel?
what led you to this kind of style?
at first i had just some small bangs but little by little i let them get thicker because it looked good on me
do you agree with what I said? that they’re very powerful and seem like a super strong barrier/shield/mask
not much, it’s not intentional that my hair covers my face so much it’s just that i don’t know what length to cut it. although sometimes i like that it hides my eyes and keeps me from making eye contact with others, which makes me a bit uncomfortable.

eye contact makes you uncomfortable.
how about physical contact?
a bit but less and less
for example, a classmate of yours asked me not to touch her after i touched her arm, she asked me not to do it anymore
and I felt bad for crossing the line without asking her permission
there was also a classmate of yours who told me that she was very uncomfortable seeing bodies, in images, semi-nudes or full-nudes, that she felt really uncomfortable
i was surprised and felt bad for not having been more discreet and for not trying to understand it a little better
could you explain to me your discomfort with eye contact or physical contact? how does it make you feel? why do you think it bothers you?
i just feel that people use it to create a connection that I don’t want or need.
wow would you define intimacy?
no idea
ok ok
it’s something important to you, no?
what is dance, for you?
it’s just something i’m good at naturally
sooooo good!
not so much
let’s not argue about that
what do you think of adults?
It’s just that i move in a way people like, not only dancing but also even just walking
and you have no idea why?
no idea.
neither do I
i’d say it has to do with rhythm and flexibility
it must be the rhythm because when I played music it was the only thing I was good at
it generates some kind of movement and special synchronicity that makes it ‘beautiful’
how would you define the concept of beauty?
in a general sense
i don’t have a description, i guess it’s something you enjoy watching. i hate when people agree on what’s pretty and what’s not. i like when everyone likes something different and everyone has their own opinion. the only taste in aesthetics or beauty that should be criticized is what’s ‘normal’ or standard.
how do you see adults? those around you
they care too much about what’s normal and i don’t like them. they try to be neutral to avoid conflict but it almost never works. they care too much about what others will say.
would parents and close relatives come under this definition?
i remember you said that there is a gif that defines how you feel when you get home! but I don’t remember what it was
do you remember?
that’s it!!!!
fairies as in…?
good vibes, nice feelings, happiness?
glitter i don’t know
are your parents separated?
fairies in both houses?
in my mom’s house
do you have siblings?
yes a twin sister
is there a connection between you two?
sometimes but we are quite different
what (crying emoji)
where does your name come from?
it’s surprising
no offense
i first started using it on tiktok and since i hadn’t used the old one for a long time, I changed it
but is it really dog pee?
it doesn’t make much sense it’s just that i wanted something with pipi
it makes me laugh
is there anything you would like to ask?
thanks for your time
well, okay, there is
will my name come out in the interview?
however you want
how would you prefer me to identify you?
i’d prefer you didn’t use my name
how about some other name, tag, avatar?

and what should i call you
subject 1?
uli yeah uli
it’s my internet name
would you feel comfortable with a picture of yourself?
don’t know
we can use an avatar, or an image that represents you
you can decide that yourself, i don’t mind
if you want I can make you a puber portrait, that would be cool, but I’m flexible if you prefer another style
feel free
nah that’s fine
a portrait?
how about tomorrow?
do you have any free time?
i think so
in the morning before noon would work splendid for me
but i’m flexible
just let me know where you are and i’ll come by
in the morning but not too early

we meet in a field to take the portrait.
and he says: my father, his girlfriend and my dog are coming.
and without realizing it i call him he.
and I feel, every time I say “he” out loud, in front of his father, an impact.
i sense that no one ever asked him what pronoun he wanted them to use at home.
so that by saying “he” out loud it’s like performing the truth for the first time.
from a distance it may not seem like much. up close, however, to tell the truth is revolutionary.

Tanit Plana: I believe in portraiture and in fluid forms of documenting. I’m moved by the mutability of facts and the documentary power of fiction. I’m interested in the reproduction of the species, love and the immense matrix that is the internet. The ecosystem of grants and awards allows me to research and produce on a regular basis. I have received the BBVA Leonardo Grant 2016, BCN Crea 2020 and Propuestas Vegap 2021, among others. Some of my projects have been shown at the Sala Canal de Isabel II in Madrid (2019), at L’Auditori de Barcelona (2021) and at the Virreina Centre de la Imatge de Barcelona (2021). My relationship with the pedagogy of image has been a constant over time.

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