Therefore, I Am

We must also consider some of the complications that have risen out of the influential behaviors that seemed to have triggered a narcissistic generation into exploding social media with selfies. Are these effects manipulating mass media culture into accepting exponentially blurred lines between socially accepted and ethical behaviors with this visual practice?

Does social media steal real life experiences where the individual lives strictly for the moment without any regard to a future beyond the selfie? How or what are some of the influences that have contributed to this way of communicating? What about likeaholism and FOMO?  Has reality taken a turn and are selfies visual evidence of this? I believe we are in the midst of a culture where we need instant gratification through  snapping and posting in excess, and the phenomena is growing.

Keywords – Front article: The Signifier

Attributes – rant, unexamined = uncaptioned, vanity, narcissism, validation, shallow, self-centered, sexualized, self-disclosure, camera = mirror, viral, self-objectification, psychopathic, ‘likeaholic’ , unrealized self, self- sculpting, self-presentation, selfie, motives, grandiosity, celebrity, addiction, self-love, photo editing, look at me, selfie generation, millennials, gen z, fantasy, self-esteem, identity, self-importance, self-networking, self-notoriety, Insta-fame

Design rationale cover:

This conveys not only the relationship with the mirror but connotes the relationship Narcissus had with his reflection in that the space between the subject and the image are intensely fixed on each other and in close proximity indicating no awareness of the outside world. The title therefore I am is a spin from Rene Decartes “I think therefore I am”. The interpretation is left open for the viewer. The stenciling effect and painted effects create drama and allow the viewer to consider the subject matter on an artistic platform rather than the more realistic effect an untouched photograph would convey. I used this style throughout the first phase/issue of the zine because of the intensity of the subject.

Final I Am (1)

Design rationale 1st spread:

The relationship with the mirror, evident with the positioning of the mirror and the subject. This layout depends on the view of the audience for reassurance, but the intent of the imaging is a complex system that runs deeper than narcissism or low self-esteem. The angry pine text supports feminist studies and the textual layout design introduces a punk or grunge connotation that makes the viewer slow down and work a bit at the message, but that is the intent, communication doesn’t always rely on readability.

second spread iam

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.

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