WE CAN SEE ME ON YOUTUBE #SELFIE – MCA Chicago, August 2, 2013


WE CAN SEE ME ON YOUTUBE #SELFIE is a curatorial project i was commissioned to produce for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago's "first friday" event with the theme #selfie. More specifically, this project takes the form of a youtube playlist + a brief text that examines the #selfie through the lens of the moving image as filtered by youtube.



how do i look in this hat? let me ask my facebook friends and crowd source a consensus. the compact has been replaced with the camera phone. special moments are shared moments and FOMO causes YOLO to dominate both IRL and URL.

IMO, a #selfie is not simply a self portrait, and definitely not a just portrait (both of which seem to get conflated into the popular misunderstanding of this www.neologism). a selfie is definitely something, it's a symptom of many aspects of our culture. and i think its better to be specific about articulating/defining what it might be, instead of just using the term loosely to refer to a picture of one's self. you know someone is undoubtedly writing their phd thesis on this topic right now…so we will have our academicized answer soon enough.

a selfie is a very specific image. it is a fast+cheap self-portrait where the subject's hand is typically on the camera/phone/device capturing the picture. its about simultaneously presenting oneself to others as well as to yourself. it enables the user's narcissistic impulses + self-image curiously + is a tool used for both internal and external validation. it is a digital mirror, it is reflexive + deceptive. it is never complete. not everyone posts their selfies, but people use them to analyze their image in various ways. its safer than a pool of water in some ways, more dangerous in others.

how does the selfie, a term associated with digital photography, translate to the moving image? WE CAN SEE ME ON YOUTUBE is a non-comprehensive, playful, retrospective, meandering compilation that suggests some of the ways we can think about this question, and approach a more specific understanding of the term. or it can merely be a fun voyeuristic peek into the exhibitionist tendencies that have always existed in people, but are now uncloaked for the public to see in our hyper-networked, wifi vibing culture.

-ef, aug 1, 2013