history of selfies and self-portraits

Online Discussion #1: Selfies and Self-Portraits

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Selfies and Self Portraits

The word “selfie” became official when the Oxford Dictionary named it the word of the year for 2013. Below is the official definition from the Oxford Dictionary:

NOUN (plural selfies) informal: photograph (Links to an external site.) that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone (Links to an external site.) or webcam (Links to an external site.) and shared via social media (Links to an external site.) occasional (Links to an external site.)  selfies are  acceptable (Links to an external site.) , but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary

Origin: Early 21st century: from self (Links to an external site.) + -ie (Links to an external site.).

The Oxford Dictionary defines “Self Portrait” as such:

NOUN: A portrait (Links to an external site.) of an artist produced or created by that artist.

 

There are many types of self-portraits. Some are realistic representation of the artist herself/himself. Others are created in ways to make a statement. And of course, there are many self-portraits that try to convey a mental or psychological reflection.  Self-portrait has been around for a long time. We have always view them as “art” regardless of the medium. That is until Photography comes around. If you recall, from your textbook, there was a time when mainstream society wonder if photography should be considered “art”. We currently find ourselves at a similar juncture with the rise of mobile phone. So here is my first prompt.

 

Before you start on the discussion, please browse through the following links. No need to memorize anything, just read for knowledge sake. Once you are done with these links, go to the bottom of this page and follow the directions in the “What now” section.

If you don’t understand the questions, ask me or a friend. If you don’t understand a particular term, look it up. Ask questions before you submit your response.

 

Essays on Selfies and Self-Portraits

·  http://www.dw.com/en/the-ego-as-a-work-of-art-from-self-portraits-to-selfies/a-18843991 (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/discover/exhibitions/dutch-self-portraits-selfies-of-the-golden-age/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/oct/22/beyond-the-selfie-step-away-from-the-smartphone-this-is-what-artists-are-for (Links to an external site.)

· org/essay/the-philosophy-of-ai-weiwei-from-andy-warhol-and-back-again” rel=”nofollow”>https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-philosophy-of-ai-weiwei-from-andy-warhol-and-back-again (Links to an external site.)

· https://www.diyphotography.net/6-12-year-self-portrait-project-documents-the-photographers-life-living-a-with-mental-illness/ (Links to an external site.)

 

Exhibitions relating to selfies

· http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/best-of-2015-this-year-in-art-selfies (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/arts/international/old-master-selfies-from-the-peak-of-dutch-painting.html?_r=1 (Links to an external site.)

· https://news.artnet.com/art-world/russias-lenin-selfie-trend-323547 (Links to an external site.)

· com/blog/andrea-mary-marshalls-feminist-pirelli-calendar-is-full-of-her-own-nudes” rel=”nofollow”>http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/andrea-mary-marshalls-feminist-pirelli-calendar-is-full-of-her-own-nudes (Links to an external site.)

· http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/theres-an-entire-museum-for-artselfies-in-the-philippines (Links to an external site.)

· com/art-world/pulse-scope-fairs-slam-selfie-culture-hello-kitties-neon-signs-376154” rel=”nofollow”>https://news.artnet.com/art-world/pulse-scope-fairs-slam-selfie-culture-hello-kitties-neon-signs-376154 (Links to an external site.)

· http://thecreatorsproject.vice.com/blog/see-every-selfie-on-instagram-in-one-interactive-installation (Links to an external site.)

 

Other writings, competitions, exhibitions, and events relating to selfies and self-portraits

· http://selfiecity.net/# (Links to an external site.)

· http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/10/04/art-in-the-age-of-instagram/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/richard-prince-instagram-and-authorship-in-a-digital-world (Links to an external site.)

· https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ways-of-seeing-instagram-37635 (Links to an external site.)

· http://andapanciuk.com/the-selfie-vs-the-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://blogs.academyart.edu/newspaper/2015/04/selfie_vs_self-port.html (Links to an external site.)

· http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2014/06/09/the-un-selfie-taking-back-the-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/stories/self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/02/getty-museum-in-focus-exhibition-birth-middle-class (Links to an external site.)

· http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/whats-the-difference-between-a-selfie-and-a-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.pdnonline.com/photoserve/The-Age-of-Narcissis-7516.shtml (Links to an external site.)

 

What now?

1. Read the teacher’s My prompt (below) 

2. Click reply to post your response

3. Begin your response by retyping or paste the previous person’s prompt. Then type your response to that prompt. Whatever your answer is/are, cite references (from textbook, articles that you browsed through the links, other articles/books you read, etc).

4. Finally, add your “My Prompt” so the next person can continue the dialogue.

The first student to respond to the teacher’s prompt will end his/her response with a “MY PROMPT”.  The student will post a question related to the discussion within this MY PROMPT. The next person that goes online will now answer the previous student’s prompt (you no longer answer the teacher’s prompt). This is how we continue and grow our dialogue. Try not to veer off topic. Always begin your post by quoting the previous person’s prompt.

 

Teacher’s “My Prompt”:

The discourse on whether a selfie is the same as a self-portrait has been raging for several years. Why do you think there is even a discourse? Is it because of the accessibility? Meaning anyone can pick up a mobile phone and snap a “self portrait”. Is it because the artist (the person taking the selfie) may not have been trained as an artist (in the traditional sense of art school)? And if you answer yes to the above 2 questions, is your perspective elitist? And if so, did you establish that perspective intuitively or is your perception tainted by social norms?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Discussion #2: Taking the self-portrait one step further

3939 unread replies.4444 replies.

Now that you have debated at length about the differences and similarities between selfies and self-portraits. I am sure you have noticed the line is quite blur depending on your perspective.

For this discussion, I’d like you to watch the following 2 TedTalk videos. Then I’d like you to post your thoughts on the video(s) as it/they relate to the topic of self-portrait. For this discussion, Every student will answer the teacher’s “My prompts”. There is no need to post your own prompt.

· https://ideas.ted.com/the-singular-art-of-the-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)

· https://www.ted.com/talks/liu_bolin_the_invisible_man (Links to an external site.)

Teacher’s “my prompts”: Why are these considered self-portraits instead of selfies? How much does the physical preparation and conceptual (idea) planning play a role in the audience’s (you) perception of these images? Does the label (self-portrait or selfies) effect our perception of these images? Does the label elevate these into “art”? Who decides what label to give these images?

Don’t give me yes or no answers. Tell us why you think a certain way and how did you come up with the answer(s) and reference your source(s).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Discussion #3: Ways of Seeing_Design in everyday objects and routines

8181 unread replies.8585 replies.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rob_forbes_on_ways_of_seeing (Links to an external site.)

This discussion is part of our lesson in learning how to see and how to recognize design in daily objects and images. Some of you are art, photography, or design majors, so this might be a very easy assignment. For those who are not, do not panic. As long as you participate and try, you will not go wrong. You will probably need a couple of days before you can post anything.

This is the process:

1. Please watch this video. Be patient. It may be boring at first but watch carefully.

2. Pay attention to the images you see every day. It can be something in your kitchen, on the way to work, in your closet, in the grocery store, etc…

3. Think about the video you saw, now take a picture (your cell phone is fine) of an image you see every day that you think can be a “design” – based on your understanding of the video you saw. I know, you may not know much about design or photography yet since class just started and you probably have never had an art/photo class before.

4. Post (embed) your photo on this discussion page.

5. Briefly discuss how the video you saw influenced your choice of image. Try to connect your photograph to design and photography. Go back to the video if needed. The easiest way is to write a bit about what you learned from the video. Then describe how the things you learned effected your choice of subject (that you photographed). In your description of your photograph, think in terms of visual elements (see list below). Try using the vocabulary from the visual element list.

·

· Visual Elements in art/photography:

· Line: What kind of lines are in the photograph? Curvy, straight, thin, thick? One single line? Multiple lines? Are the lines creating some kind of directions or movements? Is a natural line formed by the object itself (like an electrical line) or is it a group of objects that formed a line (like a bunch of cones lined up to form a line)?

· Shape: Are the shapes geometric or organic? One shape or many? Do they form a pattern?

· Space: Does the photograph seem to show depth? Shallow? What made this (like large cones in front and gets smaller as they move into the back – this creates depth)? Is there a spatial illusion? What about the negative/background space?

· Texture: Does the image/object feel rough? Smooth? Does it look wet? Shiny? If you could touch the surface what do you think it would feel like?

· Value: How dark is the darkest value? The lightest? Is there a long range of grays? Does the foreground or main object have the lightest or darkest value?

6. After you post yours, choose a classmate’s posting and comment on their post. Be kind and constructive in your comments.

Online Discussion #4: Campaign Photography

4141 unread replies.4141 replies.

Professor’s notes:

Campaign photography has been around since the 1960s. The photographs presented to the public play a role (directly or indirectly) in the voter’s ultimate decision at the poll. The photographer or photojournalist’s role is to document the candidates’ messages as well as the candidates as individuals. Both still and video photography are used in political TV and print ads. Traditionally TV and print political ads are highly valued in battle states and can close margins between candidates. This does not seem to be the case in the 2016 presidential election.

Below are a few links related to this topic. Please browse and get a feel for the subject before you respond to my prompts. Please feel free to look up additional articles that relate to your perspective. Please post those link(s) within your response so the rest of us may check them out.

· http://www.businessinsider.com/presidential-election-photography-over-the-years-2016-9/#when-it-came-to-curating-images-for-this-show-carlson-and-the-team-cast-a-wide-net-2 (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/2016-campaign-photographers-lens/ (Links to an external site.)

· http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/02/17/presidental-elections-2016-new-york-times-photographers/?_r=0 (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/presidential-campaign-in-pictures.html (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.ap.org/Content/Press-Release/2016/100-years-of-presidential-campaign-photography (Links to an external site.)

· https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/do-campaigns-really-change-voters-minds/2012/07/06/gJQAEljyRW_story.html?utm_term=.94a406bb9f2f (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/08/19/432759311/2016-campaign-tv-ad-spending (Links to an external site.)

· http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/heres-how-social-media-will-impact-the-2016-presidential-election/634434 (Links to an external site.)

Please post your response to my 2 prompts below follow by your own “My Prompt”.  As with the previous online discussion, the first student to jump on this discussion will post response(s) to the teacher’s “My Prompts. Each of you will post a response to the previous student’s  “My Prompt”.

 

 (Links to an external site.)

My Prompts:

I’d like you to take the concept of Campaign Photography one step further and consider social media in the mix. Consider the following prompts:

1. Did social media trump (pardon the pun) the place of traditional TV and print advertising in the 2016 election campaign?

2. Would social media still produce the same result/effect if there are no visual images attached?

 

 

 

 

 

Online Discussion #5: Finding beauty and interest around you.

4141 unread replies.4141 replies.

In this discussion, we continue our quest to find beauty in the most mundane objects and places. For most people, picking a subject to photograph is difficult unless your teacher gives you a specific theme or image. This discussion aims to help you understand how artists/photographers choose their subject. It also aims to help you SEE beauty in everyday things, ordinary activities, or people. For this discussion, here is the process:

1. Watch all 4 videos below.

2. Choose one that made the most impact for you.

3. Discuss and explain the impact and why you are drawn to the subject/photographs.

4. If you have an opportunity to produce a series as such, what subject would you document and why?

Documenting unusual human lives.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ryan_lobo_through_the_lens_of_compassion?referrer=playlist-close_up_and_personal (Links to an external site.)

 

Documenting nomad lives.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kitra_cahana_stories_of_the_homeless_and_hidden?referrer=playlist-close_up_and_personal (Links to an external site.)

 

Documenting everyday objects from mass graves in Bosnia. These are used to identify victims but they also become a visual archive of people once lived.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ziyah_gafic_everyday_objects_tragic_histories?referrer=playlist-history_visualized (Links to an external site.)

 

Documenting microscopic details of objects.

https://www.ted.com/talks/gary_greenberg_the_beautiful_nano_details_of_our_world

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