Selfies as the Other Side of the Mirror / Hyperallergic

Sabina Ott’s selfie

Sabina Ott’s selfie

CHICAGO — What’s it like to be on the other side of the mirror? Selfies are contemporary self-portraits shot through the reverse-mirror effect available through smartphones and webcams. We see ourselves reflected back into the smartphone or webcam mirror, snap the shutter, and appear. We have access to the other side of the mirror, and by uploading our images to social media sites the people who look at us become our mirrors. Seeing life through a prism is the underpinning of selfie theory, which posits that as we increasingly live in public, our selfies are our networked identities, connected, refracted, and devoid of context — and those who see us are our mirrors, reflecting how we look back to ourselves, and out to the internet world.

The selfie is preceded by the self portrait, which has been well-documented throughout art history. And as a recent study on selfies by Intel notes, “selfies reflect narcissistic, creative self-expression and social broadcasting, the fulfillment of social expectations, or a developmentally important means of identity construction.” The study continues to note that “identities are constructed throughout life as one explores new social roles.” In my ongoing selfie coverage, I consider the selfie as creative self-expression and an important means of identity construction for artists, adolescents and anyone on the internet who is interested in the process of becoming. Check out our selfie picks for the week.

Read the full story on Hyperallergic: http://hyperallergic.com/96252/selfies-as-the-other-side-of-the-mirror/