Selfie and Social Activism Photos & Videos on Instagram

@selfie_and_social_activism  Curating images connected to the making & repurposing of selfies #selfieandsocialactivism Dr Katherine Moline & Dr Louise R Mayhew

17 days ago

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17 days ago

We’re going IRL!!! For The Selfie and Social Activism v3.0 I’m asking: what is it like to pursue a creative practice in the age of the Insta-famous and the online curator? The Work of Art in the Age of the Selfie will bring together artists and photographers from @qcagriffith to explore this question. The exhibition will include practices informed by and respondent to the aesthetics and politics of selfie culture. Practices will engage with ideas of: self-scrutiny, -love and -display; memorialisation; communication; touch and temporality. Image: Isabella Porras, Graffiti, 2019, film photograph . . . @fourcolouredstripes @qcagalleries @bellaeva99 #Selfie #Selfieart #Artselfie #Selfieexhibition #Exhibitionselfie #selfieaesthetic #Ageoftheselfie #WalterBenjamin #Mechanicalreproduction #Digitalreproduction #Digitalage #Postinternetart #QcaGalleries

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17 days ago

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6 months ago

You are what you eat? Or you are what you selfie! This year we’ve experimented with curatorial collaboration, venturing online to develop an exhibition that unfolds each week through images and micro-essays. If you’re enjoying the project, please help us share it by tagging friends below. We’re taking a short break! We’ll be back in 2019 with more selfies, more art & more activism. - Louise R Mayhew & Katherine Moline . . . Video by Toronto-based digital media artist Simon Falk @Simonfalk

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6 months ago

Narcissister, selections from 2014-2018. Studies for Participatory Sculptures, performance and collages, 2018 Narcissister’s most recent artwork proposes to build a platform for women and illustrate her observation that “As many women in the art world are obliged to do, the women in my collages have found a way to insert themselves into the dominant artworks narrative”. This time in an impossible sculpture of women and sex dolls arranged as a totem pole of orifices. The performance reanimates the Dada collages of Hannah Hoch. http://www.narcissister.com/theater/ #/participant/

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7 months ago

“The world wants to be deceived. And an essential part of this is deceiving yourself. You’ve got to inhabit the lies which you create about yourself. You’ve got to live in that mythology.” - Hennessy Youngman, 2011 In the seemingly playful space of YouTube vlogger, Jayson Musson aka Hennessy Youngman, performs the role of street smart, self-appointed mentor, schooling us in contemporary art and its histories. Styled in a bright cap and golden pharaoh chain, Youngman functions as the post-internet answer to Andrea Fraser, negotiating from his swinging desk chair complex relationships between art practice, performance lecture and art criticism. In Art Thoughtz: Beuys-Z, Youngman holds up Modern artist Joseph Beuys and American rapper Jay-Z as equally skilled in self-mythologizing, a practice of telling stories about oneself that contribute directly to perception, success and legacy. Truth, Youngman advises, is irrelevant to self-mythologising. Musson’s own performance as Youngman complicates this otherwise straightforward advice, asking us to agree with a truth within a fiction. Watching his videos from the position of 2018, the slippages between truth and representation present in Trump’s post-truth America, Russia’s twitter bots and our more banal yet nonetheless pervasive performances for social media collide with culture’s ongoing refusal to see or speak plainly. It’s a critique that could be missed, but it’s there in Youngman’s brief tangent on Michael Jackson and Roman Polanski. In the age of #metoo, we know the dangers of mythology. Jayson Musson Art Thoughtz, 2010-2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcu60--J99w

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7 months ago

Thanks Charlotte, Hetti and co for curating one of the best exhibitions of 2018, with an inspiring selfie as social activism trope throughout. As curators of Thompson’s solo show titled ‘Ritual Intimacy’ they introduce his work by writing: “Christian Thompson is one of Australia’s leading and most exciting contemporary artists. He made history as the first Aboriginal Australian to be accepted into Oxford University, England, and completed his PhD there in 2015. Thompson works across photography, video, sculpture, performance and sound to explore notions of identity, race and Australia’s colonial history. Best known for his photographic self-portraits which focus on the artist’s cultural background and sexuality, this exhibition will present work from across fifteen years of practice, including his iconic and extensive Australian Graffiti series featuring Thompson dressed up in Australian flora. The first survey of this important artist’s work, this is an ambitious and multi-layered exhibition of photography, sound, film and voice. It traces the evolution of Thompson’s focus on the fashioning and expression of identity, to his engagement with Indigenous artefacts in Oxford’s Pitt River Museum, growing interest in language and gesture through performance, song and sounds works, through to recent projects including a newly commissioned multichannel musical and video composition that incorporates the artist’s traditional Bidjara language.” Artist: Christian Thompson Curators: Charlotte Day and Hetti Perkins Presented in association with Monash University (MUMA). https://artdesign.unsw.edu.au/unsw-galleries/christian-thompson-ritual-intimacy. #christianthompsonritualintimacy #christianthompson #christianthompsonphotography

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7 months ago

A crowd gathers to watch as Paula van Beek snaps multiple selfies, adjusting her pose, fixing her outfit. We watch her review the images, scrolling through them, hunting for the perfect shot. Further technical equipment—cameras, computers and projectors—occupy the stage and van Beek takes to these to stream a projection of the performance we’ve just seen before stepping back into the space as performer, this time taking selfies aided with a mirror. Slipping in and out of multiple roles is part of the performance, drawing on tactics established by Laura Mulvey and extended by Jill Soloway to disrupt dominant ways of seeing in favour of a female gaze. As the performance continues, the layers of recordings, projections and selfies build. Van Beek calls it the Selfie Machine. It’s generative, iterative, mechanical, procedural; hypnotic, mesmerizing and delightfully confusing. Though more significantly, it recalls the machine we all function in, disembodied yet all encompassing machines of surveillance and self-veillance, of gendered performances and gendered responses. In this work, Van Beek conjures the age of the selfie and it’s ideas of selection, curation and deletion, yet cleverly elides the Instagramification of art (selfie-friendly, colorful, easily consumed). This is a work that requires physical attendance and demands intellectual engagement. Watch me, she says. Watch me watching me, she says. That’s only step two and there are many more to go. Paula van Beek, Selfie Machine, 2018

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7 months ago

Amber Boardman, @jadefad (2018) Jade is an Insta-persona who recreates her life after discovering she is made only of paint. As a character created by Amber Boardman in paintings and animations, Jade buys into self-improvement and the aspirational celebrity lifestyle. Boardman records Jade’s big adventure living the American Dream in paint of remarkable viscosity. Unencumbered by any awareness of her failures, or the futility of her pursuits, the indomitable Jade stomps through a series of near misses in a winner takes all economy. @amberboardman, @jadefad, @paintjobbod @artdesignunsw #amberboardman #jadefad #vergegallery A new painting ‘Glamour Machine’ is included in the exhibition ‘Personal Best’, opening at @vergegallery tomorrow, 8 November 2018

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8 months ago

This week’s post comes from Mexico 🇲🇽 Mexican surrealist, Frida Kahlo, is central to the field of self-portraiture. Lying in bed, bound to wheelchair or strapped into medical plaster casts and corsets, Kahlo painted surreal visions of her life. Her artworks picture her self-stylings in traditional dress, her infamous relationship with her husband, the muralist Diego Rivera, and the tragedies of living in her broken body. While this intertwining of creativity and pain feeds Kahlo-mania (an international obsession with her image as tortured artist, replicated and sold in gallery gift shops) it also locates her within the canon of modernist women creatives, like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath and Eva Hesse, who metaphorically poured their pain into their art. Writing on this commonality of tragedy, Anna C. Chase theorises: it is ‘as if the woman who successfully seizes and wields the phallic pen [or paintbrush] must pay with her life’. If creativity and pain are difficult to separate in the way we speak of Kahlo, it is nonetheless possible to reverse the narrative: to use Kahlo’s creativity to understand the way she lived in contrast to using her biography to understand her practice. This reversal underpins Museo Frida Kahlo’s exhibition of Kahlo’s clothing. Here the curators posit Kahlo’s embrace of traditional dress (long skirts and heavily embroidered square shirts) and hair-styling (with flowers and plaits) operated as clever visual devices that drew attention away from her crippled legs, reiterating in life the central focus of her paintings: her face. So what face does she memorialize in her self-portraits? Perhaps we could describe her as demure, defiant, striking or sorrowful, yet the collective impression is curiously mute, deadpan and difficult to describe, the only clues to intended expression her constant gaze and the recurrence of tears.

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8 months ago

Pierre Huyghe, Uumwelt (2018) Pierre Huyghe’s installation Uumwelt (2018) at the Serpentine Gallery, London (3 October 2018-10 Feb 2019) comprises freestanding LED screens showing images as they might be seen flickering through the mind’s eye and 10 000 flies. The work creates a new paradigm for creative practice as it is the result of a collaboration between art and the neuroscience of Yukiyasu Kamitani and thousands of flies. Through MRI image algorithms Uumwelt exemplifies Huyghe’s aim to flip the audience and artwork dynamic, as captured in his statement‘‘I don’t want to exhibit something to someone, but rather the reverse: to exhibit someone to something.’ (https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/pierre-huyghe-uumwelt). Selfies co-created with the visual imaginaries of others in Uumwelt change everything: get to London by any means necessary, or check out https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/pierre-huyghe-conversation-hans-ulrich-obrist and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsp1KaM-avU #PierreHuyghe, #Uumwelt, #YukiyasuKamitani, #SerpentineGallery

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8 months ago

Bianca Beetson is a Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast) Waradjuri (NSW) artist. On the first of January 2014 she began the project of taking a selfie a day in tandem with her fine arts doctorate “Exploring Aboriginal Identity through self portraiture”. In her Examination Exhibition, selections from this ongoing project filled the height and length of one wall. Here we see Beetson posing, smirking and smiling; costumed and posed; filtered and layered. In this work, Beetson replicates the selfie aesthetic of social media: candy pink costumes, duck lips, bunny ears and Warholesque replicated forms. Some images are surprisingly funny: fanged teeth, fake moustaches and mock emotions. Others interrupt this playful engagement. In black and white, Beetson pairs her body with biting text: “FEAR”, “TRUTH” and “not a willing participant”. In her work, Beetson repeats ad infinitum performances of both femininity and Aboriginality, using pink as a code for one and a metaphor for the other, in order to speak to the impossibility of fitting narrow stereotypes. The overall effect is one of mania and exhaustion.

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8 months ago

Conceptual artist Adrian Piper created four works between 1973 and 2013 that critically reflected on contemporary subjectivities and the social contract. This selection of Piper’s works can be said to foresee and critique various stagings of the self that are now familiar in social media.

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9 months ago

When John Berger said: “men act and women appear”, it’s unlikely he foresaw the innumerable undergraduate essays his words would spur, nor the countless artworks that seek to redress this imbalance from art history. Lyndal Walker contributes to this project in her series “The Artist’s Model”. In generic interiors, populated with props from the bedroom and the studio, young men lounge in their underwear. Their bodies pose, unobstructed, for the camera held by Walker. Here, she claims the role of actor. These bodies appear for her. Following Berger, Laura Mulvey penned her germinal essay “Visual pleasure and narrative cinema”. In this text, Mulvey argues cinema is guilty of the same sins as art history: male protagonists typically drive the narrative forward while female characters suffer objectification, punishment and festishisation. As audience members, regardless of gender, we identify with the male protagonist. Via the camera, we see the world through his eyes. His perspective becomes ours. In order to redress this male gaze, Mulvey does not argue for a simple role reversal. Instead, she champions the denaturalisation of images via the inclusion of the camera in the frame. Walker employs mirrors to this end, highlighting the construction of the image. In each photograph we see both her and model. Finally, Walker prints these photographs on mirrored surfaces. In doing so, Walker wrestles the mirror away from the Masters of art history, who used it as a shorthand for women’s vanity, and tempts the viewer to take a selfie, embedding the viewer within a complex web of renegotiated relationships between artist, model and audience. Lyndal Walker, The Artist’s Model, 2015

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9 months ago

Media artist Steve Mann has invented new technologies that play with surveillance and introduced concepts that describe emergent characteristics of digital life, such as sousveillance and equiveillance. Sousveillance translates from French to recording from below according by Mann, which he defines as recording at the level of humans. Since he began thinking experimentally and inventing new technologies in the 1970s, his recent work has explored humanistic intelligence. According to Mann, the last 30 years bears witness to the rise of wearable computing as ‘the perfect tool for embodying humanistic intelligence. HI is intelligence that arises when a human is part of the feedback loop of a computational process in which the human and computer are inextricably intertwined.’ Through humanistic intelligence and its related ideas Mann has opened up new frameworks for developing and reflecting on cyborg technologies, as well as for thinking about the realities and implications of camera phones and selfies. Mann, S. (May–June 2001). "Wearable computing:toward humanistic intelligence" (PDF). Intelligent Systems. 16 (3): 10–15. doi:10.1109/5254.940020 For more of Mann’s inventions and publications, see http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~mann/

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9 months ago

Chicks on Speed are a dazzling mix of energy, glam and trash. From lo-fi and DIY/punk beginnings at the interface of art, performance, music and design, the group have sustained a two-decade-long practice with excursions into participatory remix art installations, affirmative women-only records and wearable design. Google their name and the screen fills with images of the Chicks. Dressed in fluoros and metallics, dripped in paint, playfully angled and lovingly draped, the chicks are hyper-visible across their multidisciplinary practice. This collective visibility stands in opposition to the hegemonic figures of the lone, male, genius from art history and his equally pernicious counterparts the male gatekeeper of technology and the cock-rock male superstar. As electroclash artists, Chicks on Speed were at the forefront of a uniquely female-dominated turn in electronic music, trashing up the dj scene with faux rock musical instruments and singing “we don’t play guitars”. Elisabeth Bridges argues electronic music is suited to feminist politics for its horizontal, hybrid and non-narrative forms. The (cyber)feminist politics of Sadie Plant and Donna Haraway can equally be located in the Chicks’ visual phenomena. Here, bodies appear fragmented, collaged, repeated and permutated, reiterating the Chicks’ refusal of stable and singular authority. Chicks on Speed, excerpts from Its a Project, 2003

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9 months ago

Hasan M. Elahi, Tracking Transience (2002-ongoing) Bangladeshi-born American artist Hasan M. Elahi (b.1972) is digitally documenting his life in an online artwork titled Tracking Transience that archives his every move (http://elahi.umd.edu/track/). The project is entangled with mistaken accusations by the FBI that Elahi is a terrorist, the quantified self movement and sousveillance. After he ended up on a watch list by accident, Elahi was apprehended at an airport and interviewed, later taking nine consecutive polygraph tests to prove he was an artist rather than a terrorist. When the FBI demanded that Elahi let them know when he travelled he started providing them with status updates, receipts of purchases from his bank records, mobile phone images and GPS coordinates, and he hasn’t stopped. Over 70 000 images (as of mid 2016) of airports, supermarket shelves, the beds he has slept in, photos of meals he has eaten, such as tacos eaten in Mexico City, and sometimes just text information, have produced a time-stamped life. ‘Putting all this information out there’, according to Elahi, ‘creates a barrage of noise and approximates an anonymous life’. The work devalues the FBI’s currency-information as commodity-and as he points out tracking our own lives through reliance on digital technology ‘is something we’re all doing on a daily basis whether we’re aware of it or not.’ (Hasan Elahi: FBI, here I am!) http://elahi.umd.edu/track/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAdwurHhv-I) https://mith.umd.edu/dialogues/tracking-transience-the-orwell-project/ http://quantifiedself.com/

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10 months ago

Cherine Fahd Camouflage, 2013 Modernism’s moves towards pure abstraction signalled a desire for the intangible and the utopian, the void and the supreme. In Cherine Fahd’s practice, small incisions in otherwise crisp sheets of color interfere with Modernism’s earnestness. A nipple peeps. A nose juts. The human figure interrupts these sculptural collages and the modernist legacy. Her form is silent and stoic, yet the images ripple with cheek. Fahd is equally playful with the tradition of portraiture. Refusing the conventional goal of revealing the sitter, literally or metaphorically, she opts instead for a game of hide and seek. As self-portraits, Fahd plays both hider and seeker, setting up a curious barrier between the artist-as-photographer, who aims to capture, and the artist-as-subject, who desires to conceal. In this meditation on looking and looked-at-ness in the age of the selfie, Fahd brings to mind Boris Groy’s update on Guy Debord. Arguing that we are in a “new era” of “mass artistic production”, Groys writes: “If contemporary society is, therefore, still a society of spectacle, then it seems to be a spectacle without spectators”. While Fahd literalises the spectacle’s mediating image she also attempts to conjure a spectator into being. She lures our commitment to spectatorship with the promise of showing something more.

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