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SELFIE MYSELF

CONCEPT > Dario La Stella, Valentina Solinas
PRODUCTION > Senza Confini Di Pelle
COLLABORATION > Aldes (LU), Isituto Amaldi Sraffa (TO), Liceo Domenico Berti (TO), City of Sassari, City of Cagliari, University of Cagliari

INTRODUCTION

With Selfie MySelf project we want to meet the contemporary generation of teenagers to critically analyze their media exposure in relation to the selfie phenomenon and the use of new technologies related to social media.
The theme of the project is the selfie as a filter in the perception and representation of one's own image in the public sphere - real and virtual - of contemporary society.

The gaze of teenagers on the theme of selfies is to be considered privileged as they constitute the age group in which the use of digital devices and social networks is more widespread and less criticized.
Since the selfie is the expression of adolescents' constant search for protagonism and recognition within the virtual public context, the challenge is to bring this desire for "virtual" protagonism back into the concrete sphere, through the arts performing.
Challenge that arises from the observation of how these two (virtual and concrete) spheres of daily life coexist and come to be confused stimulating in adolescents the search for a stereotyped ideal and creating false myths and expectations.

CONCEPT

Selfie MySelf addresses the current issue of virtual image consumption as opposed to concrete experience.

The focus of the analysis is the difficulty of living an experience when it happens, because we are engaged in recording it on a digital medium; difficulty that creates a distance between living an experience and representing it. The same distance that exists between being an image of me (myself) and having an image of me (selfie).

Jean-Luc Nancy in his book "Corpus" says that the body is "open" as far as its perceptions arrive, in this case therefore the body is always in relationship with the world around itself. To be means to be in relationship, not to have bodily boundaries, but perceptual ones. Having means to put boundaries between the body and the rest of the world.

The visual aspect is a significant part of our contemporaneity of which the selfie is the emblem. Reality is increasingly experienced through the visual medium of the photo or video, creating a fracture between experience and the visual representation of it: photographing yourself in a place becomes more important than being present. The fear of not remembering an experience if not documenting it excludes us from the experience itself and in the anxiety to capture the shots that best represent us, we lose the intensity of the moment.

From this point of view "The Society of the Spectacle" described by Guy Debord has a literal meaning, a society that exists only when it represents itself in an image that everyone can see and share. Visual support has become the tool that allows us to belong to this company. We are caught in the representation of the reality we want to control.

Targeted by stimuli that we cannot control, our time is shattered, interspersed with the continuous verification of social media which, with an effect similar to that of drugs, makes us dependent, never satisfied, full and simultaneously emptied. As shown by some research including the Yale Stress Center, this continuous pressure affects the cognitive functions responsible for remembering, learning and making decisions.

The project is articulated through sub-projects, workshops, shows, exhibitions, performances, social research and social media.

ARTICULATION

SURVEY

One of the research tools of the project is an anonymous questionnaire of 30 questions divided into personal data, digital tools, perception of one's own image. The questionnaire has the dual function of collecting statistical data on the selfie phenomenon and of creating a base on which to elaborate texts for possible artistic elaborations (dramaturgy, storytelling, poetry, etc.).
The questionnaire, distributed in high schools, follows a brief discussion on the topics covered.

WORKSHOP

The workshops provide a training path through which participants experience the expressive and creative aspects of the performing arts, paying attention to the contextualization of their image in the context of the reference community, both virtual and concrete.
The workshops use techniques of the performing arts (theater, dance, circus, visual arts) and techniques of relationship and perception of one's own person and image.
Through a series of specific exercises we explore the world through every single sense. The visual aspect, so strongly present, fades into the background, increasing the size of the other perceptual channels, composing a much denser and more layered picture (the external world) in which the bodily presence is an integral part of it and not just a passive observer.     

    

SELFIE MYSHOW

Selfie MyShow is the blog of Selfie MySelf project. www.selfiemyshow.wordpress.com
Parallel to the entire workshop path described, pupils are invited to actively participate, through the insertion of multimedia contributions and reflections, in the drafting of a blog, using it as a "virtual" public space in which to post their comments on the theme of selfies and the perception and representation of one's own image.
The blog has the double function of constant observatory of the design process and of linking all its participants, coming from different municipalities and schools, to trigger exchange and integration processes. In addition, the blog is a tool that provides great visibility to the project, acting as a reference platform for communicating the project itself.

SELFIE MYCITY

The Selfie MyCity sub-project is an experiential awareness-raising process on the perception of one's own image in relation to the surrounding urban environment with which to create a dialogue.
If places participate daily in the construction of our identity and selfies contribute to its representation in the virtual public space, through Selfie MyCity we want to create an echo that reverberates from everyday life in artistic creation. In integrating the image of the city with the image of oneself, the city becomes the starting point for the expression of oneself through the use of the body as a mediator of experience lived in direct contact with the urban space.
For each urban context investigated, the tag #cityname is added.
The city of Sassari was the first to be the subject of this research. Selfie MyCity#Sassari

POSSIBILI DERIVE

Another sub-project is the Possibili Derive performance, born from the suggestions of Selfie MySelf. Its structure includes two performers and an installation of mirrors. The performance is specifically designed for museum spaces. More details on the page.

Photo Andrea Macchia