[-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 13

karen karen at thisisamagazine.com
Tue Dec 22 12:28:09 AEDT 2015


Hi Murat, everyone,

The selfie holds such potential for observation and scholarship I 
believe due to the multiplicity of impulses, individual/social 
functions driving it, as object and activity and I wouldn't, 
personally, reduce the selfie to one particular activity or purpose, 
such as contemplation. Although this most certainly is an important 
aspect.

At no time do I expect these works to resolve the selfie, they are 
more provocations to tease out otherwise elided characteristics, 
processes and functions of the selfie to recombine them almost to test 
the genre, if you like. So I’m not sure that my work is based on an ' 
impulse to convert a contemplative activity—that inevitably slows 
things--to a mechanical one--a mere immaculate click.’ although I 
certainly appreciate the critique of it that way and do see a fertile 
thread emerging on the lure of the mechanical. Actually, yes guilty of 
succumbing to the lure of the mechanical, these cameras do provide a 
physical gratification, a haptic response, more so than a touchscreen 
device. And the five-way selfie camera Delayed Rays of a Star 
incorporate the selfie stick trigger that has its own peculiar 
physicality.

Yet, I believe the embodied experience of contemplation related to the 
selfie is not diminished with NousAutres, at least this is certainly 
not how it has been so far received, as the surface of the camera 
actually is a mirror, with a small central hole in which the lens is 
nested. The subjects tend to spend quite a while ‘setting up’ for the 
image and test pose and so on, together. The commitment to taking the 
selfie with this dedicated camera if anything, may permit an even 
deeper contemplation, as the device itself is not multitasking, it is 
there only for the subject, dedicated to the selfie, and the subjects 
I find are most focussed and explicitly aware of the activity, overall 
there is less abstraction.

It was from the observation of the way that the selfie is created, and 
resides, within the object of the smart-device/camera that I came to 
the creation of a dedicated shared selfie-making camera with it’s ‘old 
style’ button, not dissimilar to a joystick fire button. I wanted to 
see if, or how, a shared selfie as object and activity is any 
different, once freed from the affective weight and biased agency of 
the iPhone or similar, being a highly charged affective object, often 
a container for personal data, conversations, maps, chats and so on. 
In particular NousAutres offers a more evenly distributed agency, the 
two subjects each hold the device and determine when the image should 
be taken, rather than this being controlled exclusively by the 
singular owner of the iPhone.

best regards,
karen ann

> Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2015 18:53:45 -0500
>From: Murat Nemet-Nejat <muratnn at gmail.com>

> Hi Karen and others who are still following this thread:
> 
> "My own dual-selfie and star- cameras form the central part of my 
>research,
> and together are called Us_Others because they function at the 
>boundary
> between participant, artist, and audience. For example, with the 
>camera
> ?NousAutres,? two images are taken of two subjects facing each other 
>on
> either side of a mirrored box, each holding a handle with a trigger 
>(in
> extended arm). Once the triggers are pressed, the camera captures 
>two
> ?selfie' pictures simultaneously and algorithmically interweaves 
>them, then
> automatically broadcasts this image to twitter.  There is no other
> interaction with the camera, no screen, no delete etc. Through my
> performance with these cameras I intend to heighten the experience 
>of
> taking/sharing self-images."
> 
> I never understood to impulse to convert a contemplative 
>activity--that
> inevitably slows things--to a mechanicl one--a mere immaculate 
>click. What
> is exactly theadvantage of that? I am stuck by the insight in Walter
> Benjamin's essay "The Work of Art in an Age of Mechanical 
>Reproduction." He
> sees it, I think, as a historical, but necessarily desirable 
>development.
> May we have a discussion on the lure of the mechanical?
> 
> Ciao,
> Murat
> 
> On Sat, Dec 19, 2015 at 3:07 PM, Jonathan Schroeder <jesgla at rit.edu> 
>wrote:
> 
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Congratulations on turning in your thesis, and thanks for sharing 
>>this
>> with us.
>> ________________________________________
>> From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <
>> empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Karen Ann
>> Donnachie <karen at thisisamagazine.com>
>> Sent: Saturday, December 19, 2015 1:27 AM
>> To: empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 11
>>
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hi all,
>> oh dear, is that it?
>>
>> I have just tuned in to this discussion?shame I missed it from the
>> start?my disattention due to submitting my PhD thesis ?The Human Use 
>>of the
>> Human Face: The Photographic Self-Portrait in the Age of the Selfie? 
>>as you
>> can tell from the title my PhD research is precisely on the selfie.
>>
>> My practice-led thesis has brought me to look at the selfie from a 
>>number
>> of perspectives?authenticity (both technological and existential), 
>>formal
>> characteristics (tropes, facial close-ups, extended arm, mirror and
>> immediate broadcast), identity play, celebrity/micro-celebrity and
>> narcissism, potential (mis)use as object of big-data, human 
>>connectedness,
>> and how the selfie, as object and as action is affecting our notions 
>>of the
>> photographic self-portrait as genre of art practice and cultural 
>>artefact.
>>
>> I have recently contributed an essay  ?#Me: Glimpses of 
>>Authenticity? to
>> the book  'Ego-Update' which accompanies the NRW-Forum, D?sseldorf,
>> exhibition on the selfie phenomenon (alongside some other super 
>>texts by
>> Teresa Senft, Jerry Saltz, Daniel Rubinstein, Brooke Wendt and Adam 
>>Levin)
>> and since 2013 have spoken at conferences and classes and to anyone 
>>who
>> would listen.
>> My practice involves making electronic and algorithmic art around 
>>and from
>> the selfie?such as custom designed, self-programmed ?selfie-centric?
>> cameras or algorithmic lighting installations that display flesh 
>>tones from
>> Instagram #selfie faces in real time. Some of these works were 
>>recently
>> exhibited/performed at John Curtin Gallery as part of SoDA15.
>> My own dual-selfie and star- cameras form the central part of my 
>>research,
>> and together are called Us_Others because they function at the 
>>boundary
>> between participant, artist, and audience. For example, with the 
>>camera
>> ?NousAutres,? two images are taken of two subjects facing each other 
>>on
>> either side of a mirrored box, each holding a handle with a trigger 
>>(in
>> extended arm). Once the triggers are pressed, the camera captures 
>>two
>> ?selfie' pictures simultaneously and algorithmically interweaves 
>>them, then
>> automatically broadcasts this image to twitter.  There is no other
>> interaction with the camera, no screen, no delete etc. Through my
>> performance with these cameras I intend to heighten the experience 
>>of
>> taking/sharing self-images. The work is not merely in the cameras, 
>>nor is
>> it merely in the images posted to twitter, but in the way 
>>co-presence and
>> performance with the cameras disrupt those activities and social 
>>media
>> ecologies or the performance that happens between real and Internet 
>>or
>> virtual life.
>>
>> 1. Regarding Joonas? discussion of selfie close ups, formally 
>>speaking,
>> the consistent presence of the face in the selfie can be attributed 
>>to the
>> mechanical limitation of the camera?s focal distance (approximately 
>>an
>> arm?s length). Yet the mere limitation of field-of-view does not 
>>explain
>> away the overwhelming preference for creating close-ups of the face.
>> As Joonas suggested, more is indeed happening at the site of the 
>>#selfie
>> face.  Arguably it is the combination of a desire to be recognised 
>>by
>> others and the mesmerising effect of our reflection, all of which
>> ultimately affects the framing within the visual codes of the 
>>selfie. Ken
>> Miller describes the use of cinematic closeups, ?the face as surface 
>>is the
>> perfect complement to the photographic image as surface ? in 
>>combination,
>> we experience surfaces that promise depths, exteriorities that imply
>> interiorities.? In cinema, the close-up momentarily distracts us 
>>from the
>> narrative to allow us to reflect, ponder, engage with the face. 
>>Miller also
>> discusses the notion of ?visual self-inscription,? which could 
>>easily be
>> transposed onto the act of the selfie with its ?desire to view the 
>>self as
>> a mediatised other and, in a sense, could also be thought of as a 
>>replay of
>> the narcissistic psychic drama of alterity, in which one attempts to 
>>find
>> the other in the self and the self in the other.? In other words, it 
>>is in
>> composing our selfie close-ups that we objectify our selves while 
>>the
>> close-up images (both ours and others?) lure us to distraction with 
>>the
>> promise of complexity.
>>
>> 2. Regarding the notion of affect, the selfie offers us the three 
>>stages
>> as proposed by Spinoza (affectio, affectus and affect), and further 
>>refined
>> by Bergson and Deleuze. Seigworth?s summary serves well, as the 
>>moment of
>> the selfie taking becomes the point (affectio) or ?the affective
>> capacity of bodies,? the posting and sharing to/on social media 
>>becomes
>> the line (affectus), where the passage of states and variation 
>>occurs, and
>> finally, as the selfie image relinquishes autonomy and surrenders 
>>itself as
>> part of an ever-expanding database it reaches the plane, a perpetual
>> ever-expanding autonomy of affect.
>>
>> Even if the discussion is over, I look forward to catching up with 
>>your
>> research now that the thesis fog is lifting :)
>>
>> best wishes,
>> karen ann donnachie
>> PhD Candidate (SoDA), Curtin University.
>>
>>
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> >
>> > Today's Topics:
>> >
>> >   1. Re: empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 3 (Jonathan Schroeder)
>> >
>> >
>> > 
>>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> >
>> > Message: 1
>> > Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2015 17:16:48 +0000
>> > From: Jonathan Schroeder <jesgla at rit.edu>
>> > To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>
>> > Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 3
>> > Message-ID: <1450459009470.26411 at rit.edu>
>> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
>> >
>> > Ok, it looks like the discussion has ended. Thanks to everyone who
>> participated, and thanks to Derek Murray for inviting me to 
>>moderate.  For
>> those who are interested, Mehita Iqani and my paper has just been 
>>published
>> online: "#selfie: digital self-portraits as commodity form and 
>>consumption
>> practice"
>> http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10253866.2015.1116784
>> >
>> >
>> > Best wishes for the holidays.
>> >
>> > Jonathan Schroeder
>> > ________________________________________
>> > From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <
>> empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Jonathan
>> Schroeder <jesgla at rit.edu>
>> > Sent: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 2:48 PM
>> > To: soft_skinned_space
>> > Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 3
>> >
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > I think that the study of selfies offer an interesting window into 
>>how
>> something becomes an object for scholarly attention, as we can watch 
>>a body
>> of work emerge, including conferences, journal articles and special 
>>issues,
>> and groups, such as the Selfies Research Network on Facebook.  What 
>>is
>> clear is that selfies have seized the imagination of scholars as 
>>well as
>> users. What is less clear is how scholarship and thinking about 
>>selfies
>> will develop and 'mature'.
>> > ________________________________________
>> > From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <
>> empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Kelly 
>>Norris
>> Martin <kellynmartin at gmail.com>
>> > Sent: Friday, December 11, 2015 3:52 PM
>> > To: soft_skinned_space
>> > Subject: Re: [-empyre-] empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 3
>> >
>> > ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > empyre forum
>> > empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> >
>> >
>> > ------------------------------
>> >
>> > _______________________________________________
>> > empyre mailing list
>> > empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> > http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> >
>> >
>> > End of empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 11
>> > ***************************************
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>>
> -------------- next part --------------
> An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
> URL: 
><http://lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au/pipermail/empyre/attachments/20151219/a9644663/attachment-0001.html>
> 
> ------------------------------
> 
> _______________________________________________
> empyre mailing list
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> 
> 
> End of empyre Digest, Vol 132, Issue 13
> ***************************************


More information about the empyre mailing list