In a time with an unprecedented number of opportunities to see ourselves, decide on our appearance and share it with the entire world, questions arise on how this affects our self image and value and whether our perceived image actually resonates with how we are viewed by others.
External natural forces like gravity dramatically change our facial features. When moving, this happens all within milliseconds, but the overall pull of gravity while we age changes our appearance significantly, even though we might still feel very young.
Digital manipulation of the face confronts the viewer with the way the human brain is wired to recognise others and him or herself. It shows that what we see is not a direct reflection of the information that our eyes pick up, but the result of the wiring of our brain to read the visual information that it receives. The way we think we look is based on physical facial experiences we have when we communicate with others. Since this conditioning is based on completely different input, the visual notion of ourselves is very poor.
Besides the actual way we look and wiring of the brain, we have an internal notion of ourselves when we ‘live in our own world’. What do we look like in our imaginations in different times and places?
‘Notions of Self’ explores these moments and aspects of self awareness through focusing on the relation between self and time and place and the inner processes that shape our ideas on who we are and what we look like. It hopes to trigger thoughts about ourselves, how we perceive ourselves and others, the subjectivity of beauty and our significance in the time and place we’re in.
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YouTube. (2017). Part 3: The Curated Ego: What Makes a Good Selfie?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y2oMiN5icA [Accessed 25 Mar. 2017].
BBC News. (2017). Self-portraits and social media: The rise of the ‘selfie’ – BBC News. [online] Available at: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22511650 [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].