Day 1 at CAA, I took this selfie.
Day 2 at CAA, I heard a talk about The Selfie.
Somewhere around the middle, Paul J McCormick shared his current project analyzing and categorizing selfies:
“The smart-phone and social media have changed the underlying role of photographs. A photograph[‘]s primary function is [no] longer a way to preserve a treasured moment of a place or person but now mainly functions as an offering of digital currency in hopes of a social interaction. One of the most commonly offered images comes in the form of a highly composed presentation of self-known as the selfie. By examining the selfies posted through social media sites, [this project] questions the importance of a location, event, or experience against the presentation of self in the digital age.”
McCormick’s project, Coined, investigates the various placescapes of the smart-phone selfie (#bathroom, #brunch, etc.), as a way of looking at the homogenization of character through place, pose, and composition. The venue of the selfie is just as important as the photo itself.
If pink, or orange, or whatever is the new black, then perhaps the selfie is the new “Daniel was here” or a kind of serialized personal mix tape. What I’m talking about is this: the selfie as artifact, as compilation, as diary.
McCormick is right that the selfie is a new kind of digital currency, but even beyond “homogenization,” the selfie employs, often, a kind of contemporary rhetoric of self-representation, transparency, and spontaneity.
Between the fall of 2011 and the spring of 2011, I took approximately 170 Mac photobooth selfies to send to someone in a different country who became my significant other. Although it was never considered a project, the act was simply a way to inform and translate the quotidian experience, even 3000 miles apart. And so, curious about McCormick’s project, ideas of vulnerability, digital visibility, and the conflation of self-exposure/promotion, here are those photos.
Day 1 at CAA, I took this selfie. Day 2 at CAA, I heard a talk about The Selfie. Thursday (later-)night at the New Media Caucus at 1104 S. …