Maddie Hepner

The Meme and The Dream (2021)

The body of work The Meme and The Dream explores the proliferation of images and politically loaded content through the Alt-Right American Internet sphere, how this content is weaponised, utilised to formulate fringe online communities, and how the digital machine reacts to the content that it is being fed daily. This project considers the historical concept of the American Dream in relation to the contemporary United States as well as understanding the role of photographic representation in propagating this Dream. Comprised of three parts and six video works, the project recognises how the circulation of found Alt-Right political images breaks down the archetypes of the American Dream through a digital interface.

To learn more about the project, download the accompanying research paper about the development of the project.


Constant Reassurance

2021 - ongoing, single channel video loop

Composed of more than 1500 found online images, Constant Reassurance tracks the lineage of the idealistic interpretations of the American Dream to the noxious barrage of content that circulates the hyper-politicised Internet spaces of the American Alt-Right. Forever entangled in a myriad of times, spaces, places, and images, the video piece confronts the viewer to question whether this content is shaping American history or if American history is shaping the content being published. 

You Turn Me On I'm a(n Alt-Right Clusterfuck) Machine

2021, four single channel video loop series

The title of the work gains inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s 1972 song entitled You Turn Me On I’m a Radio and alludes to the power of the digital machine and the users the circulate within it. By employing the Generative Engine interface, collected tweets and text from Alt-Right members are placed back into the context of the screen for the engine to pictorially react through AI image production. As a joint collaboration between myself and the interface, I allow and invite the digital machine to express its views on the content it ingests on a daily basis.

The Truth, 2021, single channel video loop

CNN, 2021, single channel video loop

#COVID Mandates, 2021, single channel video loop

Mass Non Compliance, 2021, single channel video loop

Daily Shit

2021, single channel video loop

Serving as a critical indicator for what happens to tweets when they are suspended in falsified time, Daily Shit applies the tweets of Hepner's Patriot Chuck Bot onto a physical roll of toilet paper that unravels and re-rolls back into itself endlessly. Daily Shit critiques the content the bot produces with the utilisation of toilet paper, pokes fun at the myth of Donald Trump tweeting on the toilet, and solidifies the notions of constant immeasurable content publication on social media platforms today. 

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