Online Discussion #1: Selfies and Self-Portraits
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The word “selfie” became official when the Oxford Dictionary named it the word of the year for 2013. Below is the official definition from the Oxford Dictionary:
NOUN (plural selfies) informal
A photograph (Links to an external site.) that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone (Links to an external site.) or webcam (Links to an external site.) and shared via social media (Links to an external site.): occasional (Links to an external site.) selfies are acceptable (Links to an external site.), but posting a new picture of yourself every day isn’t necessary
Early 21st century: from self (Links to an external site.) + -ie (Links to an external site.).
The Oxford Dictionary defines “Self Portrait” as such:
A portrait (Links to an external site.) of an artist produced or created by that artist.
There are many types of self-portraits. Some are realistic representation of the artist herself/himself. Others are created in ways to make a statement. And of course, there are many self-portraits that try to convey a mental or psychological reflection. Self-portrait has been around for a long time. We have always view them as “art” regardless of the medium. That is until Photography comes around. If you recall, from your textbook, there was a time when mainstream society wonder if photography should be considered “art”. We currently find ourselves at a similar juncture with the rise of mobile phone.
Below are 3 groups of articles I’d like you to read. Please choose 1 article/link from each group. You don’t need to memorize anything, just browse/read for knowledge.
There are 2 parts to this discussion exercise:
I’d like you to respond to my prompt. Please make sure you answer my questions in paragraph format and provide in text citation (APA or MLA). At the end of your paragraph, paste the 3 articles/links that you chose. After you paste the 3 articles/links, please add a question/prompt for your classmates. It should be a question that is related to the topic to help them engage in a dialog with you (14pts).
After you have posted your homework, read two other people’s posts and respond to their questions/prompts. If you notice someone’s prompt already had 3 or more responses try to pick someone else. It is nice to be inclusive (6pts).
The discourse on whether a selfie is the same as a self-portrait has been raging for several years. Why do you think there is even a discourse? Is it because of the accessibility? Is it because the possibility that the artist may not have been formally trained (in the traditional sense of art school)? What insights did the articles you read provide? How have the articles informed your response(s) to my questions?
Group A: Essays on Selfies and Self-Portraits
http://www.dw.com/en/the-ego-as-a-work-of-art-from-self-portraits-to-selfies/a-18843991 (Links to an external site.)
http://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/discover/exhibitions/dutch-self-portraits-selfies-of-the-golden-age/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/oct/22/beyond-the-selfie-step-away-from-the-smartphone-this-is-what-artists-are-for (Links to an external site.)
https://lareviewofbooks.org/essay/the-philosophy-of-ai-weiwei-from-andy-warhol-and-back-again (Links to an external site.)
http://time.com/4064988/refugee-crisis-selfies/ (Links to an external site.)
https://publichouseofart.com/articles/selfie-vs-self-portrait (Links to an external site.)
https://www.diyphotography.net/6-12-year-self-portrait-project-documents-the-photographers-life-living-a-with-mental-illness/ (Links to an external site.)
Group B: Exhibitions relating to selfies
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/15/arts/international/old-master-selfies-from-the-peak-of-dutch-painting.html?_r=1 (Links to an external site.)
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/russias-lenin-selfie-trend-323547 (Links to an external site.)
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/pulse-scope-fairs-slam-selfie-culture-hello-kitties-neon-signs-376154 (Links to an external site.)
Group C: Other writings, competitions, exhibitions, and events relating to selfies and self-portraits
http://selfiecity.net/# (Links to an external site.)
http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/10/04/art-in-the-age-of-instagram/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-17/richard-prince-instagram-and-authorship-in-a-digital-world (Links to an external site.)
https://news.artnet.com/art-world/ways-of-seeing-instagram-37635 (Links to an external site.)
http://blogs.academyart.edu/newspaper/2015/04/selfie_vs_self-port.html (Links to an external site.)
http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2014/06/09/the-un-selfie-taking-back-the-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)
http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/stories/self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/jan/02/getty-museum-in-focus-exhibition-birth-middle-class (Links to an external site.)
http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/whats-the-difference-between-a-selfie-and-a-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)
Online Discussion #2: Taking the self-portrait one step further
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Now that you have debated at length about the differences and similarities between selfies and self-portraits. I am sure you have noticed the line is quite blur depending on your perspective.
For this discussion, I’d like you to watch the following 2 TedTalk videos. Then I’d like you to post your thoughts on the video(s) as they relate to the topic of self-portrait. For this discussion, You need to answer my prompt, then post comments to two other students’ posts.
https://ideas.ted.com/the-singular-art-of-the-self-portrait/ (Links to an external site.)
https://www.ted.com/talks/liu_bolin_the_invisible_man (Links to an external site.)
Teacher’s prompt: Why are these considered self-portraits instead of selfies? How much does the physical preparation and conceptual (idea) planning play a role in the audience’s (you) perception of these images? Does the label (self-portrait or selfies) effect our perception of these images? Does the label elevate these into “art”? Who decides what label to give these images?
Don’t give me yes or no answers. Tell us why you think a certain way and cite your source (because I know your thoughts are informed by what you read, watch, learned). Your source can be an article, a movie, a book, the news, or a class you took previously.
Part 1 of this assignment: Answer the teacher’s prompt (14pts).
Part 2 of this assignment: Respond to 2 classmates’ posts (6pts).
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