October 30, 2019

How does social media condition our experience of self?

Reb T

YouTube Video#NARCISSUS, 20181920 x 1080p

‘#NARCISSUS’ discusses how the self is communicated online, and social media’s conditioning of our experience of self. Technology allows the manipulation of imagery and ownership of that imagery. Exploiting the parameters of these two aspects, I use appropriated audio and iPhone screen recordings. This performance is inspired by Caravaggio’s painting ‘Narcissus’. In the painting the young boy stares at his reflection in the water, his beauty confirmed. My glitching self in the foreground is reassured of my beauty by the images in the background. This green screen effect exploits the functions of the webcam beyond providing a sense of intimacy. The Instagram triptychs reveal themselves through my body dependent on how I move, creating a confrontation of digital information. The multiplication of my image enhances the feeling of an objectified body. This is reinforced through Instagram’s zoom technique. ‘#NARCISSUS’ employs the internet trope of engineered hashtags, typically used for comedic or branding purposes. These are a call to action, encouraging the viewer to interact with the work by taking photographs, screenshots and re-uploading or sharing them on the internet, thus creating a new author of the works.