The Selfie & Social Activism: research symposium
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The Selfie & Social Activism: research symposium

The Selfie & Social Activism: research symposium

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UNSW Art & Design

Greens Road

Paddington, NSW 2021

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The Selfie and Social Activism symposium will address methodological issues in practice-based research engaged with digital culture via a combination of formal papers & hands-on mini-workshops. It will explore the overlaps and convergence between art, media, design, cultural studies, sociology, and industry engagement to better understand media ethics, aesthetics and practice in the digital era. The symposium will present workshops and papers that focus on topics ranging from ‘selfies as method’ to the intersections between social media activism and mainstream media; and emerging narratives around the privacy and security of mobile media since the introduction of new Australian meta data laws. We are please to feature international members of the Selfies Research Network at this event.

Keynote: Researching Selfies

Amparo Lasén (University Complutense of Madrid)

This talk discusses different social, aesthetic and methodological implications of digital self-portrait practices. It highlights what we can learn about selfies, what we can learn with and through selfies, and what we can learn about the ethical and affective implications of researching with selfies. That is, how selfies can become methods, or ways to enquire about current social orderings, norms and regulations, and about the controversies around them. Selfies explore topics such as gender, ethnicity, sexuality, sociability, the articulation between public and private, the configurations and transfigurations of the self, or the ambivalences of intimacy.

This form of vernacular photography involves a multifaceted performance of presentation, representation and embodiment, and a complex gaze and grab game. Moreover selfies are part of multiple ordinary and extraordinary visual conversations, from everyday life routines, sociability, romantic and erotic relationships, to professional activities and socio-political activism. They are digital inscriptions that can be shared, observed, commented, traced and tracked, facilitating reflexivity, affective witnessing and surveillance. These digital inscriptions contribute to make visible and durable what use to be fleeting, ephemeral and hardly noticeable, enlarging the domain of what can be subject to public knowledge, misrepresentation and ignorance. In a double-sided process, our bodies, subjectivities and relationships are being inscribed by these practices, as we acquire habits, gestures, skills, postures, poses, ways of seeing, looking, hearing and doing

Professor Lasén's presentation is supported by an Ian Potter Foundation Conference Grant.

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UNSW Art & Design

Greens Road

Paddington, NSW 2021

Australia

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