.:: Mirrors and Shadows
Between the 1st and the 3rd of December at the IT University of Copenhagen there has been the Digital Arts and Culture 2005 conference .
A lot of interesting papers have been presented, but of course for me the most interesting is the one by Jill Walker : Mirrors and shadows. She talks about our fascination with representing ourselves online, comparing online photographic self-portraiture with self-representations in weblogs and the creation of visual avatars. She connects contemporary projects and quotidian practice to the history of self-writing and self-portraiture, as well as to psychoanalytic theories of how we use our own mirror images to come to an understanding of our selves.
Talking about photographic self-portraits, she brings as an example my set "pieces of me" on Flickr.
And that's what she says:
Marinella’s set “Pieces of me” (Figure 5) is an example of
this. The image of her eyes and nose, half hidden in a pillow,
is the closest to a conventional portrait. The other images
show parts of her body. Some are traditionally sexualised
body parts, such as the lips and the belly button covered in
lace. Others are simply exploratory: fingers (elegantly and theatrically curved in space), a heel, a shoulder, an ear. Many of the images in “Pieces of me” show the
photographer’s body in ways she could not have seen herself in a mirror. [....]
Marinella and Lala-lala’s photosets on Flick may be expressions of the same desire to – and pleasure in – discovering oneself as flesh and blood. Perhaps we could say
the same of the process involved in creating a paper doll that represents oneself. While Melanie’s self-discovery in The Magic Toyshop was cut short, however, our digital selfdiscovery of ourselves is a process that may last all our lives.
Thank you Jill for your wonderful quote and for having tried to understand so deeply our way of representing ourselves! Great paper, by the way.