Hello… I’m Sarah, co curator alongside Mihnea Chiujdea, of studioSTRIKE’s Lateshift at the National Portrait Gallery, The Curated Ego: What Makes a Good Selfie? Although I have been a member of studioSTRIKE for over a year now, working as an artist assistant for Natasha and Afshin, this was my first major collaborative project … and it was amazing!
Many thanks to all of you who made it down on the night. I was so excited (if a little terrified) to see so many faces queued up outside the double doors, and was very sorry to find out not all of you could make it inside. We did our best with the help of two fantastic live tweet assistants, who battled throughout the night with a non-existent wifi connection to get as much of the selfie scrutiny out in to the world and online as possible. But if that wasn’t enough, we now have the full recorded version cut into tea break size pieces to view at your leisure.
The night kicked off with a screening of studioSTRIKE’s open call competition entries, where artists had been invited to respond to the question, What Makes a Good Selfie?
Over 130 entrants applied and a total of 390 images came together to create a thought provoking backdrop, setting the tone for what was to be a night of engaging cross discipline conversation showcasing inspired work around the new and increasingly contentious term.
I thoroughly enjoyed the two competition winners, Catherine Balet and Jure Kastelic selected by an expert judging panel, Diane Smyth, Tim Clarke and Tom Hunter, who gave insightful presentations on their practise putting into context the evenings discussion, with of course an obligatory ‘on stage selfie ‘ thrown in for good measure.
Annebella Pollen did an amazing job of chairing the event keeping all four artists and academics to time, which was no mean feat considering the range of topics covered; from philosophical concepts of multiple selves discussed by Paul Snowdon, the paradoxical relationship between selfies and re-enactment photo-therapy revealed by Rosy Martin, Eugenie Shinkle’s observations on the incorporation of technology into the human body and finally a neurological exploration into how the brain helps us make sense of the selfie’s we see from James Kilner.
The final audience Q&A proved to be just as varied and far reaching,with conversations that could have carried on well past our 8.30 curfew.
But lets not stop here. Debate and discussion around technology, social media and the networked image is ever evolving making way for new modes of working, interacting and being. So join the conversation and watch this space for further events.