Project & Excercise 3.1: Self or Selves

Create a selfie that you would be happy to share with the wider world. Note how many shots you take and what your editing choices are based on.

Good grief! My big thing at the moment is that the concept of self is not, as we might imagine, a fixed definable thing. We are not the same bunch of atoms at the end of an 80-year life as the ones we were made of at birth. And getting to grips with that is what I want to make work about – but it’s a BIG idea rather than a small manageable one which relates to what I and Wendy discussed this morning. I need to learn to pinpoint a manageable idea and make work about that. (well, I’ll try but I wouldn’t hold your breath).

In an effort to start playing and stop worrying about creating highly polished finished work here are two experiments that answer this exercise which took me hardly any time although I did begin playing yesterday. What prevented me from posting yesterday’s efforts? I found them boring and uninteresting. I am not hugely into selfies although I can quite see why they are compelling and have spent some time playing with Snapchat filters with my kids and others’.

Experiment 1

I saw these mirrors in a shopfront and asked them if I could pinch them when they were finished using them. Yes, they said. I want to make some work with them at some point and think they are good props. I’ve been playing with them yesterday and today. This sort of selfie is doing exactly the same sort of thing a more typical selfie might, for instance with enhanced boobs (as I’ve seen on young girls social media), pouty lips, filters to clear skin or adding the illusion of professional lighting. By choosing to use this as my selfie I am promoting an idea of who I want others to imagine ME is.  I suspect it is as manipulative, constructed, vain, etc … all the things we like to say about selfies. I could write rather a lot about this, the narcissistic era we’re reported to be living in. But I won’t just at the moment as it takes me in a different direction to the one I’m aiming for.

Experiment 2

After reading Holly’s blog I thought I’d have a play with the app she was enjoying, using a still image from the same ‘set up’ (some pieces of mirror piled together in my front room)  and presenting those as a set of images. Actually, perhaps these tie in rather well by representing some of the ideas I’ve absorbed reading about quanta (A super BIG idea). However, I am also weary they might be a little too literal. But what I do quite like is the photographs I’ve taken, or are of me on the mantlepiece especially as a child, in the background which gives me an idea!

Thanks to Holly for discussing her find.



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