Object of My Eye

The phenomenon of this culture to become “Insta-famous” has contributed to inappropriate behaviors where the selfie-subject objectifies themselves for the spectator’s pleasure. This far reaching trend of sharing inappropriate self-images with the public appears to have subsidized the new normal.

What about the fascination with the human body? It seems that this phenomenon is greatest in countries where capitalism is highly developed. Does this lead the human subject submissive to trends? What about the relationship between the mind and body, do advertisements visually fetishize the body creating an absent agency of self? Could this contribute a response of self in that the absent agency attempts to overcome this through narcissism and self-notoriety? Is social networking in itself a means of tying primary and secondary audiences to visually present the self through methods that objectify the self in the same manner, visually manipulating the positive over the negative? Is it safe to theorize that this culture is constantly transforming themselves in front of the camera albeit unconsciously, only to depict a carefully constructed visual of themselves to share on social networks? (Barthes, 1981)

Keywords – Back Article: The Signified

Attributes – rage, the male gaze, social networks, here’s a selfie – here’s another, effects, interpretations, intent, filters, bad reputation, judgment, notoriety, bombarded, ethics, boundaries, over-steeping, cannot unsee, violated, disgusted, degraded, FOMO, not measuring up, boring life, power to victimize, bully, threat, act out, throwaway, triggered, damaged goods, stereotype, gaze

Design Rationale:

Issue object is the signified viewpoint. Because of this satire was used to create a safe environment for this subject matter. The peach emojis is present enough to visually denote objectivity of the female rear-end. Color palette is peachy and the focus is on the spectator’s view.

To support the grungy style of the zine, a stenciled effect was applied and the text was intended to run off the page, inspired by David Carson. The Logo was hand painted and the color pink supports feminist studies and the gaze which is the focus of this spread.

Using the mirror as a tool, the signifier objectifies herself as taught through decades of objectification through advertisements, the porn industry and social media. What she doesn’t understand is the focus of her image is not on who she is but an object of her physical body.

Final Object

In a larger relational matrix: the true self, the false self, and the persona, and examining theories that are replicated in online behavior, where the false self and the persona seek constant approval from others. Interestingly, the false self’s main structure is to hide and protect the true self, making others think this is the real person, whereas the persona similarly presents an impression or character upon others, concealing the true nature of the individual. (Balick 2014) In support of this theory, stenciling and over painting was used to connote the false self’s role.

Mixed materials: Below is a background painted with a series of brushes and creative lighting through vertical shutters to achieve an authentic effect for experimentation with filters later in software programs (above.)

blog3

We must consider the social ethics of continually displaying improperly risqué self-imagery to an unexamined audience, and ask the undeniable question of when does such behavior become socially deviant? Inappropriate content could be considered a conflict with social norms and the audience recipient when weighed against relationships, content and situational considerations.

Design rationale:

Self objectification of the hypersexualized due to flooding imagery from western culture coming from social media and sexualized advertisements that hit the viewer 24/7. The satire calms the message of what the spectator really sees or cares about unbeknownst to the signifier in most cases. The stenciling and painting effects create an artistic platform that communicates the message without being too subjective or sexual.

second spread object

Rant and Rage is a zine that started from my research for the Master of Arts program in graphic communication through IDI/University of Hertfordshire. Practice 1 and 2 continue to inform my practice and MA project as phases of portfolio work and research methodologies on cultural issues and debates. Experimentation through practice led research processes aim to resolve design problems that have not been considered in this sector of visual culture.

References:

Balick, A. (2014) The Psychodynamics of Social Networking: Connected-up Instantaneous Culture and the Self (The Psychoanalysis and Popular Culture Series) London: Karnac Books Ltd.

Barthes, R. (1980) Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. New York: Hill and Want.

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