The Challenge of Making A Meaningful Selfie
This week in In Pursuit of my Art Ed Degree…
We covered the history of photography, mused on the similarities between art photography and photojournalism, and mused on the differences between Selfies & Self-Portraits. While the history gave me a clear understanding of the history of capturing light and images, it opened a Pandoras box of questions about the meaning and intention of images.
I think to truly be able to distinguish between Art & Journalism in photography, one must decide on definitions of objectivity and subjectivity. I feel the lines are easily blurred when one considers all the actions and intentions leading up to a photo being taken. It goes way beyond serendipity and spontaneity, at least in journalism it does. It becomes a little more clear in the selfie vs self-portrait debate.
A small comment on this… I currently think a self-portrait is a representation of who I am, but can also be a temporal reproduction of my physical self, meant to be a permanent representation of how I appear at a given time. I also currently think a selfie is a representation of where I am at this moment and a tool to start a conversation with others. They tend to beg a reaction. Finally, I think intent and planning are the only true distinguishing marks between the two. I look forward to further discussions on this and seeing where my beliefs evolve.
Life has given me many opportunities and roads to follow: Work, School, Furniture design, Family, etc… None have taken from me my self-identification as artist. It is only my activities that have changed, not who I am.
So, where does that leave me in relation to answering my (not) favourite question: “What Do I Do?”
Well, it leaves me with many options and many choices. I choose how and to whom I answer that question. How about: Artist, designer, consultant, writer, student, and teacher?
One of my clever teachers gifted us with a challenge to go out and find ourselves. Well, the wording was go take some selfies and self-portraits to share with the class and be ready to explain why they are one or the other… Same thing, really. Don’t you think.
I managed to take selfies with my SLR, no small task the the clumsiness of holding it at arm’s length and figuring out if I was in the frame or not. Even more challenging when trying to compose the shot with my phone in my other hand. What I came up with was that I am a combination of experiences and beliefs all surrounding a simple core. I am just ME.