Hawk Swanson received early press for the Amber Doll Project, for which she commissioned the production of a silicone doll in her likeness. The first article to profile the project received a large number of anonymous online comments and was reposted on a number of blogs where the amount of comments increased. Many of the comments projected violence upon the site of the artist’s body. Navigating the extremity and quantity of interpretive responses became part of Hawk Swanson’s work. For the two-and-a-half hour performance Online Comments (August 2007 - October 2011), the artist read every comment still online as of October 2011 to a live audience, including the misspellings, typos, grammatical errors, duplications, etc., original to the texts. Her corresponding performance three months later, Online Comments (2012), involved the artist reading every comment still online as of February 2012 while completing four consecutive workouts inspired by the fitness methodology and online community CrossFit, of which Hawk Swanson was a member prior to boycotting CrossFit HQ. The Online Comments works bridged the Amber Doll Project and Dig, a series of durational performative videos in which the artist timed herself digging chest-deep holes. In 2019, Amber Hawk Swanson compiled a selection of online comments dating from 2007 through 2012 into the artist book Online Comments.

Watch the full three hour video documenting Online Comments (2012) on Vimeo. ︎︎︎ ︎