FINAL CLASS PROJECTS
The information age has allowed some populations to create, experiment, and enjoy endless flavors of personal pseudo-psychologies. Birthed of information technology, these new universes of thought give humanity the ability to browse through pseudo-personalities, playing them like marionettes on the stage of our collective digital psyche. As we go about in the real-world, we continuously manage our many avatars, consciously and unconsciously designing them through our ubiquitous screen culture. Where do you start and end if parts of you are based in the real-world and other parts are based in the digital?
"The doll will have four symmetric sides and each side displays a different part of my identity. The four sides are Facebook, College Life, Home Life and my Resume. They all are important factors in my life that create my identity. It is interesting how they interconnect but are also so different."
"When we began the journey of discovering our “selves” in the beginning of the term, I wasn’t sure what to think. We discussed who we were offline and who we are in the real world. Different identities, different personalities, do we have one real self that incorporates all of the others?
After playing Little Big Planet one night on PS3, I found myself identifying with the figure in the game, Sackboy. He can get through anything given the right guidance, plays great with friends, and can dress like anyone. To me this sort of embodied who I am. I feel that I can achieve anything I want and with the right people around me, we can do great things. I also like to think that I am playful and entertaining. The fact that Sackboy can change identities at anytime is something that I also agree with in myself, underneath the different clothes is still the person with the same morals and standards. The zipper embodies the idea that the doll is stuffed with emotion and passion for the things that I do in my life. I carry my friends and family with me but I am kept in check with the work I do for Dancing Astronaut and ID&T. Which is what keeps me on my feet. I chose a processor for the heart because I like to think that I make very logical decisions and think all possibilities through. The brain I used an image of the universe with a “neural network” or something to symbolize that I am a very deep person that has a ton of ADD but can still form everything necessary. I chose music levels for the ears and a speaker blasting electronic out of the other side because I have my family, friends, school, my hobby, which is dance music, and my job, which is now also involved in the dance music industry. So it might seemed like I am obsessed with electronic music but it’s pretty much everything I do.
In reading “Imaging, Keyboarding, and Posting Identities: Young People and New Media Technologies.” the author discusses how people build their identities as they grow up on the Internet. I find that this only helps me keep better track of everything in my life and makes me think less about what I have done or have to do."
" When designing and decorating my doll I wanted to encompass all aspects of my identity. At the foundation of my doll are 2 prisms that resemble my feet. On one foot is a wood texture with tools on all sides and the other foot is a series of binary numbers. I am studying Computer Engineering here at Union so I deal with binary numbers, the building blocks of a computer on a daily basis. The tools on my other foot resemble the do-it-yourself kind of person I am.
Connected to my feet are my rectangle legs a characteristic of my doll that I got inspiration from watching the Art21 video. In particular, Bruce Nauman and the sharp edges of his staircase and how he left its interpretation up to the audience. "
"Iin Jonathan Lupkin’s article “Photography Reborn: Image Making in the Digital Era” he discusses identity and how through digital art identity can be seen as well as transformed. When we began the section of the class on digital art I realized that Lupkin’s original thought regarding identity was indeed valid. I never realized how personal art was until I got on the computer and started thinking about who I was so that I could accurately create a paper doll of myself.
Through programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator I was able to manipulate photos to further connect them to my true self. Furthermore, in a PBS film titled Art 21, an artist named Maya Lin inspired me to look at landscapes and structures as forms of art. Seeing such large and beautiful structures inspired me to think of art differently. Prior to viewing the film I used music to inspire me, however now I see a potential in art that I have never seen before. This class connected ideas brilliantly and as I think back to the class as a whole, each section fits together like a puzzle piece, the last piece being our paper dolls that are representative of a culmination of all that we have learned this term. "
If you were asked to make a paper-doll that represented all of your avatars (real and digital) together, what would it look like? Would the resulting doll finally form a complete picture of you or is it yet another avatar to embody? Using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator create a design for a 3D dimensional doll made of paper that speaks of this question.
"I made my doll with a cartoon head and a dress body. There are two faces: a happy face and a weird face, which represents the mood I get when I am up too late at night. The two faces represent my outward directed personality that takes its cues from others (Elliott 45). The dress I designed to feature different aspects of myself: daydream, family, baking, and spirit. The baking side of me is one of my passions and in the TED Talk “Identity as a barrier to growth”, passion and vulnerability are needed to have authenticity. Duleesha Kulasooriya said that passion is a strong emotion that motivates you to go beyond your comfort zone and the feeling comes from inside. I like to take risks with my baking and try new things even if I think it’s outside my skill set just to see if I can do it. My baking side is also vulnerable because when I give my creations to others I don’t know if they will like it or not and I am putting myself at risk for rejection or disappointment.
In the excerpt from the book “Better Than Well” by Carl Elliott, he said morality has been shifted from external (voice of God) to internal (listening to the voice within) in recent times. Listening to the voice within can tell you the person you are meant to be and the way that we are meant to live. True happiness cannot be obtained without fulfillment and fulfillment requires being true to your inner voice (Elliott 33).
After much searching, I now identify as a humanist, which is why the happy humanist symbol is on my doll. Humanism promotes listening to your own moral code to do good without God. With humanism, I feel that my spiritual side is fulfilled and I am happy."
"I picked a doll shape that would represent the human body fairly accurately because I wanted the doll to resemble me as much as it could. In addition to the body, I decided to draw my face. I didn’t want to use a photograph because the drawing of the face represents a huge part of who I am. As primarily a portrait artist, I take great pride in making my drawings resemble their subjects as much as I can. I feel that the face that I drew gives an accurate representation of how people know me and think of me. For this same reason I chose to put on clothes that I would normally wear, and in fact, did wear when presenting my doll. The overall point of the exterior was to evoke a general image of me as a physical person by using my skills as an artist.
In addition to the art aspect of the class, I really enjoyed talking about how we have different selves, and how we show these to people via social media. I also wanted to show that people can’t always see the true us, just from social media. In Brian Christian’s talk, he spoke of the difference between content and form. Content stands for all the numbers we have been assigned (SSN, pin numbers, birthdays, occupation, password etc) where form stands for things like a signature, diction, syntax, laugh and gait. I tried to incorporate both of these in my doll by including both general “content” information from my Facebook account such as the education section, sex, orientation, birthday and other things of that nature. I also included specific posts and tweets that I have personally made that people could most likely tell that I wrote from my word usage, humor and more subtle things like hashtags and punctuation."
"When I originally heard we needed to create our own 3-D dolls as the final piece of the course I was nervous. I sat around thinking of how I would create the physical doll and instead of worrying about the statement I wanted portray about myself I was more concerned with the physical outcome and the shape. I found this ironic seeing that one of the large lessons in class was finding our true self and seeing that what we portray may not be our ‘authentic self.’ In the article Introducing Identity, David Buckingham, explained identity as an ambiguous and slipper term (2008). Throughout the article he breaks down the work identity showing that idem means ‘the same,’ reiterating the idea that identity is made up of both similarities and differences, contradictions and parallels. The article continues to discuss the struggle between being oneself and finding ones true self.
In following this theme of the struggle I found it appropriate to make Russian nesting dolls to show the different layers of my identity. The nesting doll principle shows the relationship of objects within similar objects; I find my identity to match this idea perfectly.
The outer shell quotes represent the ‘bitch’ persona many individuals who don’t know me view me as. The next shell is more of a spiritual view on life with a special flare attitude, ‘inhale the good shit exhale the bullshit’, blending the true me with the outer shell. The third shell represents my social-worker view on life, ‘act without expectation.’ My final shell, what I view as my true self is extremely meditative, something I do daily, “be still and heal & energy flows where intention goes.” I believe what you internally think, you attract and positivity is the true self I am working to create. "