UofTDrizzy is a popular Instagram account run by an anonymous student at the University of Toronto since early 2015. The images feature Toronto rapper Drake photoshopped into student-life scenarios at U of T Scarborough. Using cleverly parodied lyrics for captions, “Drake the campus boy” can be seen waiting for the bus, eating street food, and studying in the library, among other everyday activities. According to UofTDrizzy, Drake was chosen because “Scarborough never got any real love from Drake before UofTDrizzy happened. While he would mention Scarborough in his tracks, it’s unlikely that he would ever actually go there.” The celebrity is now counted among the 16,700 people following the account, and he has even responded to posts.
UofTDrizzy visits the downtown St. George campus through a series of 11 × 17″ posters for #DrizzyDoesUTSG. In addition to five well-liked images, ten new works created specifically for the project will be released throughout the month of May. By distributing multiple copies of each poster across campus on the same day they are posted on Instagram, a cumulative body of work is created that physically mimics the visual presence of social media. As each new image goes up, the previous ones naturally fade from the immediate visual sphere, much like online images, which gradually get lost in the history of an account’s feed.
Exemplifying the influence of celebrity music culture and the reach of social media, #DrizzyDoesUTSG plays with concepts of communication by translating a digital platform into print form, lending a physical presence to something that typically only exists virtually. Bridging two methods of spreading the word about campus activities, the formats reflect equally relevant and widespread techniques. UofTDrizzy’s project also broaches a broader dialogue about how the creative use of media sites has expanded the terrain of artistic practice and widened the mutability of the photographic image.
Presented in partnership with Museum Studies, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto