Keeping Up With the Selfies / Hyperallergic


#discosaintselfie by Peregrine Honig

LOS ANGELES — The biggest selfie news of the past week comes from drones, which have spawned a new selfie category: the dronie. To shoot them, people program their drones to take short videos of themselves that operate like extended selfies. Most dronies begin with a portrait-like shot of the person or people, then zoom up and away while guided by remote control.

Also last week, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden jumped into a selfie together — one that, due to the long-arm angle, makes both of their teeth look very large. This image comes from Biden’s new Instagram account, which only contains seven photographs so far, with this one boasting the most likes, at about 55K. As I’ve said before, the selfie is where we become our own biggest fans and private paparazzi — and Obama and Biden are no exception to this rule. The phenomenon isn’t specific to American politicians, however; Indian politician Narendra Modi, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), recently took a selfie, and so did President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who shot his with a Samsung Galaxy. Was his selfie corporate-sponsored, too?

In the world of celebrity selfies, German photographer Jonas Unger debuted his new exhibition Autoportraits in Paris, in which celebs and fashionistas like Karl Lagerfeld, Karolina Kurkova, Jean-Paul Gauthier, and David Lynch use an analogue camera to take pictures of themselves. By certain standards these are not selfies, because they aren’t shot with a smartphone camera or uploaded to a social media site. But they are self-portraits shot in what is now known as the selfie aesthetic — that long-arm position, gazing at the camera, a private moment made public. Except the gazes in these photographs are different — in the real selfie, we see an off-kilter look that often signifies the shooter seeing themselves in a smartphone mirror as they’re taking the photograph. The real selfie gaze is captured in the work of artist Peregrine Honig, whose painting/Instaperformance “#discosaintselfie“ (2014), a part of the exhibition The Stench of Rotting Flowers at Charlotte Street Foundation’s La Esquina Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri, gave people an elaborate backdrop for shooting their own selfies — a chance to be in the disco-ball spotlight both in the moment and forever.

A new hashtag on Instagram, called #aftersexselfies, puts people in a very different type of selfie spotlight. Here people decide to share that thrilling just-had-sex (and hopefully just had great orgasms!) moment to social media for all to see. Is it shameful? No! This type of sharing is a personal choice.


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