You… Art…

Art is artificial; a representational rendering of the real. Yes it is powerful, can sometimes move us more than the actual real, but this is because of the stylistic application which has been employed to create the rendering, which is not actually accessible within the realms of reality.

Think about your digital identity, what is it comprised of? It can never and will never be you, and yet, sometimes, with the share of a picture or a post which you have identified as being profound, or humorous, or are critical of, you have in that action made a statement, more often than not you have done so to illicit a response, the anticipation and interpretation of which defines, contributes and shapes the work of art which is your digital identity; Validation of your output is after all the basic human need of any transactional act – How many likes did you get? How many shares or retweets – and what does that validate exactly, not you certainly, but rather that extension of yourself which you have created and curated on the digital landscape.

I like to think of these actions as brush strokes or performances, all of them aspects of a greater work – the digital self is your project and you are it’s architect, it’s a representation of you, what are you going to do with you today?

  • Sarah Honeychurch

    Just noseying around your blog and this caught my eye. I’m not sure I buy this dualism actually – I think that I am my digital self, I don’t think I create it. I do agree that my digital identity is not me, though it might cast light on who I am (or who I was when I posed it – as selves are not static), but I think I’m a human person that thinks and breathes. So, just as I don’t think that I am a mind in a body (the Cartesian dualism stuff), but rather an embodied mind; I think that my digital self just is me, and to think that I can carefully stand back and craft it is probably to assume too much of human beings.

    But I might change my mind about this, of course – and thank you for making me think out loud here.

    • soztheo

      Thank you for the noseying :)!

      It’s an interesting conundrum – I often think on this subject and so waver back and forth. I don’t know if you are aware of the Penny Sparrow case in South Africa, but one disgustingly racist quote has defined her as a person on the national psyche (and has cost her a fine of R150,000). The same thing happened to Trevor Noah when some tweets made in bad taste resurfaced as his star rose.

      I think for each individual, the relationship they have with their digital selves is unique, but I think if I recall this post was a response to an article I had read on the day. When the two selves collide, the permanence of a representation made by your digital self may not align to the dynamically evolving psyche or mood on a day, and yet the impact can be so real – like today, my human reference feeds the tone of this response in light of the Penny Sparrow judgement, another day and my response is different…

      Thanks for the mental stretch 🙂