Exhibition Notes, Experimentation, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: Press Release

Square ad online

Fractured Identities

The endless electronic messages and stimulus we receive from social media and other visual sources cause us to analyse and judge ourselves extensively through the eyes of others. The self is eroded and broken down. As a result, we find ourselves changing who we appear to be to meet the expectations of others. In Fractured Identities, photographer Jo Sutherst uses performance and self-portraiture to explore the ways in which social media affects the ways in which we present ourselves. Using a series of often comical props and cosmetics designed to enhance appearance, Sutherst explores the world of the media generated selfie.

Each of us has control over our online representation. We have complete and absolute control over our devices. We can post, text, tweet and update whatever we want. Our devices allow us to show the world who we want to be seen as. Yet we are detached and isolated from the viewer. We do not exchange conversation other than through text. We can edit every selfie so that we get it just as we want it. We fine tune, write and rewrite every caption so that it delivers the correct message. We can post whatever we want, without thinking twice. We often come across as completely different people in our online and offline relationships.

We cannot gauge another’s response to the image or caption. We do not receive face to face feedback, and we lack the self-perception that comes with a real-life relationship. Behind the screens of our computers and phones, we can portray ourselves exactly the way we want. We cannot always do this in real life.

Through our ever-increasing use of technology, we are invited to rewrite our identities. How can we know if what we are looking at is true – or not?

Born in Coventry and now based in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Jo is an engineer, teacher and photographer. Shortlisted for the Picfair Women Behind the Lens award in 2018, Jo is interested in the psychology and emotions behind self-portraiture and what is actually feels like to be human in an ever increasingly online world. She is currently in the final stages of her MA in Photography at Falmouth University.

 

Mask of divine proportiontest print 1

Experimentation, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: Shoot FMP#16 – Self-Portraits – 28th May 2018

During this shoot, I applied all of my makeup and did not seek help from a makeup artist as in previous shoots. Having my hair tied back adds to the intrigue as you can see more of my face.

The contouring makeup was applied in dots and patterns to create a graphic look. The most effective images are those where the contouring makeup has not been blended. There is, again, something strange and almost tribal about the makeup.

I also trialed various face exercising gadgets to see the effects these had.

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I created several more images for the unblended contouring image.

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All props and makeup were photographed for the zine.

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Contextual Research, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: The Mask of Divine Proportion

Dr. Stephen Marquardt has studied human beauty for years. Dr. Marquardt is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon (Oral and maxillofacial surgery treats diseases, injuries, and defects in the head, neck, face, and jaw). He carried out cross-cultural studies into beauty and found that in all groups he looked at, the perceptions of beauty were virtually the same. He found that beauty is related to phi and could be defined with the mask that he developed. The mask uses phi, decagons, and pentagons in the structure. His website on the subject is available at www.beautyanalysis.com.

His website states that “if we can modify the appearance of a face to make it more like the mask, it should become more attractive or beautiful.” (Making Beauty – Marquardt Beauty Analysis 2018)

His website also contains various pieces of his research into the development of the mask. These are not considered here.

 

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Figure 1: Mask of Divine Proportion 2014 Dr. Marquardt

 

 

 

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Figure 2: Very Beautiful to Very Unattractive Faces with Marquardt Beauty Mask © Marquardt Beauty Analysis

 

 

 

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Figure 3: Marquardt Beauty Masks Applied to Beautiful Faces © Marquardt Beauty Analysis

 

 

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Figure 4: Before and after manipulation

 

 

Figure 4 offers a really interesting idea of editing my own face according to the mask.

 

REFERENCES

Making Beauty – Marquardt Beauty Analysis. 2018. Marquardt Beauty Analysis [online]. Available at: https://www.beautyanalysis.com/beauty-and-you/making-beauty/ [accessed 23 May 2018].

The Facial Masks – Marquardt Beauty Analysis. 2014. Marquardt Beauty Analysis [online]. Available at: https://www.beautyanalysis.com/research/perfect-face/facial-masks/ [accessed 23 May 2018].

 

 

IMAGE SOURCES

Figure 1: The Facial Masks – Marquardt Beauty Analysis. 2014. Marquardt Beauty Analysis [online]. Available at: https://www.beautyanalysis.com/research/perfect-face/facial-masks/ [accessed 23 May 2018].

Figures 2 and 3: →, VIEW. 2018. “What is the Formula of Beauty? – Dr. J.”. Dr. J. [online]. Available at: https://medically-no-nonsense.com/what-is-the-formula-for-beautiful-face/ [accessed 23 May 2018].

Figure 4: Meisner, G. 2014. “Beauty in the Human Face and the Golden Ratio”. The Golden Ratio: Phi, 1.618 [online]. Available at: https://www.goldennumber.net/beauty/ [accessed 23 May 2018].

Feedback, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: 1:1 Summary Notes – 23rd May 2018

Notes from my recent 1:1 with Wendy McMurdo – recorded here for reference and action.

We discussed my draft press release and current progress.

Key points for consideration:-

  • Action points:-
    • Draft press release – interesting reading – specifics and detailed background
    • Consider images with text on them – towards the bottom?
    • On poster have gallery number / email – not personal information
    • Further research:-
      • Use of plastic surgery in Korea etc – BBC Documentary
      • Use of apps to alter appearance
      • Stelarc
      • Haley Morris-Cafiero – The Watchers
      • Endemic selfie culture – Instagram
      • Social / cultural shifts and terms
Contextual Research, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: Considering Others – Melanie Bonajo

Melanie Bonajo is concerned with examining how technical advances have increased feelings of emptiness and removed the sense of belonging that many individuals experience today. She considers how social relationships have been transformed by technology and how images online affect our subjectivity towards our own images. This increasingly sterile and technological world leads to issues of isolation and eroding intimacy that Bonajo explores in her images and videos.

Video 1: (Matrixx Botanica – How to escape from a retirement home. 2016)

 

Video 2: (Foam For You – Construct 2012)

 

 

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Figure 1: Melanie Bonajo. 2005. Do you know Vic?

 

 

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Figure 2: Melanie Bonajo. Unknown date. In Between Becoming More Beautiful

 

 

IMAGE SOURCES

Figure 1: Capricious Day: Melanie Bonajo. 2005. Dazed [online]. Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/gallery/18284/15/capricious-day-melanie-bonajo [accessed 16 May 2018].

Figure 2: Capricious Day: Melanie Bonajo. 2018. Dazed [online]. Available at: http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/gallery/18284/33/capricious-day-melanie-bonajo [accessed 16 May 2018].

 

VIDEO SOURCES

Video 1: Matrixx Botanica – How to escape from a retirement home. 2016. YouTube [online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n-wOgz-MZI&t=5s [accessed 16 May 2018].

Video 2: Foam For You – Construct. 2012. YouTube [online]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcCrptWZWmc [accessed 16 May 2018].

 

Contextual Research, Final Project

Final Major Project: Self-Identity

“We gain our self-identities in two ways. First, as we develop self-awareness, we observe and evaluate our thoughts, feelings, and behavior based on past experience, current needs, and future goals. We also look outward to the world in which we live, for example, social, academic, and physical, for feedback that also shapes our self-identities. Because we are fundamentally social beings and an essential part of our development involves finding our place in the social and cultural context in which we live, feedback from that social world plays a significant role in the evolution of our self-identities.”

– Dr. Jim Taylor (Is Technology Stealing Our (Self) Identities? 2011)

 

REFERENCES

Is Technology Stealing Our (Self) Identities?. 2011. HuffPost [online]. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jim-taylor/is-technology-stealing-ou_b_910544.html [accessed 7 May 2018].

Feedback, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: 1:1 Summary Notes – 5th May 2018

Notes from my recent 1:1 with Wendy McMurdo – recorded here for reference and action.

We discussed my progress to date and considered images from recent shoots.

Key points for consideration:-

  • Action points:-
    • Attend guest critiques with Krishna and Stella
    • Attend Material Presence Symposium at the Photographer’s Gallery 2nd June
    • Finish shooting at the start of June
    • Research:-
      • Douglas Gordon – tape
      • Melanie Bonajo
      • Trevor Paglen – facial recognition / automation – Metro Pictures NY
      • Unthinking Photography blog
      • Erica Scourti – body scanning
      • Pandora’s Camera – Joan Fontcuberta
      • Passport photos
Contextual Research, Final Project, Project Development

Final Major Project: Is Social Media Stealing Our Self Identity?

Gergen’s term “Social Saturation” refers to ordinary people living with constant change. This change comes from the endless electronic messages and stimuli we receive. Under this sensory assault, our identity and the idea of self is broken down, and as a result, we change to meet the expectations of others. (Gergen 2010)

Gergen argues that “social saturation has come to dominate everyday life… as we become increasingly conjoined with our social surroundings, we come to reflect those surroundings. There is a populating of the self, reflecting the infusion of partial identities through social saturation.” (Gergen 2010:49) (see previous post)

As someone who uses social media every day, I can confidently state that Gergen’s theory is true. My phone is a constant hive of activity. Each day, I am bombarded with status updates, posts, emails, and messages from people I know and do not know.

Using social media channels means that I can choose how to portray myself to others and whether or not that portrayal is accurate.

“Texting and e-mail and posting let us present the self we want to be. This means we can edit. And if we wish to, we can delete. Or retouch: the voice, the flesh, the face, the body. Not too much, not too little — just right.”

– Sherry Turkle (Turkle 2012)

We notice how others represent and present their identity. When appearances change, we notice and comment. In our daily lives, we are surrounded by many others. I work in a school and so am surrounded by hundreds of others. Most of those around me have an image or appearance that they need to keep up.  Whether they portray the tough guy or the pretty girl, their image and representation online take time and effort.

Each of us has control over our online representation. We have complete and absolute control over our devices. We can post, text, tweet and update whatever we want. Our devices allow us to show the world who we want to be seen as.

However, there is a detachment between the poster and the viewer. We do not exchange conversation other than through text. We can edit every selfie so that we get it just as we want it. We fine tune, write and rewrite every caption so that it delivers the correct message. We can post whatever we want, without thinking twice. We often come across as completely different people in our online and offline relationships.

We are, however, isolated when we do this. We cannot gauge another’s response to the image or caption. We do not receive face to face feedback, and we lack the self-perception that comes with a real-life relationship. Behind the screens of our computers and phones, we can portray ourselves exactly the way we want. We cannot always do this in real life.

Through our ever-increasing use of technology, we can completely rewrite our identities. How can we know if what we are looking at is true or not? In many ways, we still accept things at face value.

“These social influences, accelerated by the recent explosion of technology, may be shaping our self-identities in ways in which most of us aren’t the least bit aware.”

– Jim Taylor (Is Technology Stealing Our (Self) Identities? 2011)

So, is social media stealing our identity? Or are we just adapting to the technology available to produce new identities that better suit who we think we should be?

 

REFERENCES

Gergen, K. J. 2010. The Saturated Self. New York: Basic Books.

Is Technology Stealing Our (Self) Identities?. 2011. HuffPost [online]. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-jim-taylor/is-technology-stealing-ou_b_910544.html [accessed 7 May 2018].

Turkle, S. 2012. “Opinion | The Flight From Conversation”. Nytimes.com[online]. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/opinion/sunday/the-flight-from-conversation.html [accessed 7 May 2018].