Identity - Expression Through Multiple Mediums (2011)

Curated by Elizabeth De Leon
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My inspiration for this project was Danah Boyd's idea of "Identity Performance" and how identity can be expressed online through text, image, audio and video. Identity as a form of self expression has, over time, succumbed to society's stereotypical notions of what the "perfect" identity should be(What the perfect image of oneself should be). First of all, what does the politics of identity entail? How a person looks, acts, or what a person does. These notions are constantly changing and what today may be considered as beautiful and is excepted, tomorrow it may be rejected. In any case, the way identity is expressed will always evolve and what we hold to be the ideal identity, will change as well. Nonetheless, what this exhibition attempts to do, is showcase different methods in which multiple individuals portray their own versions of how identity can be expressed and what identity is to them. 1.) The first art work which I chose to include in my exhibition is titled "Your sFace or Mine?". This piece of artwork, is an interactive palette which has a basic face of a person with individual squares, or sections, which when motion censored by the mouse, continuously change, revealing every time a different segment of the face. What I admire about this piece is not only its uniqueness, but also its purpose which is to embrace a person's identity. It embraces the beauty of every face, and rejects the notion that there is only one type of beauty. 2.) My second piece of art work is titled "Project|Capture". "Project|Capture" deals with the idea of the individual person having the intention of leaving there one mark in history through there inclusion of themselves on the web, by choosing to post certain photographs of themselves. In a way, this is a perfect example of Boyd's idea of "identity performance." These people chose to put up these specific images in order to create or show a certain image of themselves. The form in which "Project|Captive" showcases this idea is through an interactive gallery of "paintings", in the sense that they are reproduced images of photos posted by other people. In the end, it succeeds in capturing the idea that human beings are unique and beautiful in their own way, and if they choose to, they can leave their own marks(their identity) through these postings of images. 3.) My third piece is called "Chloe". The medium is a portrait, which is of a 6 year old model. The image as a whole, is split up in squares. These individual squares have been manipulated in order to get different greys for each one. It is important for this art piece to be included in my exhibition because it explores the idea of identity by coming to the conclusion that we as human beings "must be willing to redefine ourselves while being aware of ever-changing environment." Just as Chloe's Identity will continue to change, so will ours. She expresses hers through this portrait and we can do so through different mediums such as paintings, photographs, or writing. Whatever Identity we choose to show and in whichever form we choose to do so, we are able to be accepting of who we are and know that people come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and gender. 4.) My fourth piece is called "Constructed Identities". This art piece deals with taking 4 images of people from an online dating source, and reproducing and enlarging them. Again, in this art piece, we are also dealing with an interactive art piece which in this case means that the enlarged image is constructed of individual blocks of paintings which can be rearranged to make other images. This is where the "interactive" process comes in place. My own interpretation of this piece is that it allows for a visual to be shown, representing the process in which a person deals with finding their identity, and constructing the individual blocks which make up who they are-similar to how these individual painting blocks make up these images. 5.) My fifth and final piece is called "the ego machine". The "ego machine" is a "web spider" which searches the web and collects information of where your name is mentioned. The more times your name is found, the better an image of yourself will react by becoming younger. The fewer times your name is found, the more negatively your image will react by deteriorating in health. My interpretation of this art piece and relating it to my overall theme of Identity, is that it deals with the idea of "an image of myself" which is essentially the same as Identity. We create our Identity by choosing what to post online of ourselves and who we choose or allow to see that information. What this "ego machine" does is collect all of that information that we posted online or that others posted of us. As a whole, it does exactly what Boyd mentions which is that people create their identity or what they choose others to see as their identity, by using these interactive mediums as a way of expressing that. Ultimately, I believe that my Exhibition is able to showcase various types of technology and mediums to project the theme of Identity. I believe that Identity is something we choose to construct, as these art pieces have constructed their own versions, but Identity is also something we must allow to take its course. Do not force yourself to be something you are not, but most importantly do not believe that a part of you is not "beautiful" enough by society's standards and that you need to change it. Do not believe that you have to also lie about it when creating yourself on the web. Be honest about who you are, but most importantly be proud of your identity(this includes every single thing about yourself).

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