As I was thinking about digital identity, it became very apparent how broad this topic is. This meant that it would be very difficult to narrow my ideas down to create a meaningful project.
At first, I considered how identity effects our relationship with the surrounding environment. This included how augmented reality is enabling us to merge both real and imagined worlds. With so many people with their heads fixed on their screens, it would appear as though the only way for them to acknowledge their surroundings is if it appears on their screen. In other words, if it isn’t on-screen, then it isn’t there. However, when I looked back at the assignment brief, I felt that this was going off-track in relation to digital identity.
Meanwhile, incidents involving people taking selfies seemed to be a regular occurrence in the news, and I started to be drawn to the role of the selfie, and what motivates people to take selfies.
Identities can be manipulated
a person’s digital image can enable them to occupy multiple digital spaces at the same time for as long as they wish
a persons face can be their password
selfies enable the photographer to present themselves in the best possible way
interaction with the surrounding environment - including how digital imagery is used, such as for advertising
2. Interface - how images can be manipulated to conceal / change identities
3. Pixels looking at the photo stream on my phone reminded me of pixels refer to embroidered images
Each project idea was inspired by the previous one. Ego was based on how selfies are still a prominent aspect of digital culture. Even Channel 4’s ‘The Bake Off’ required the contestants to create their selfie! Taking selfies is something that I have never really been in to. I didn’t need to take a photo of myself in a particular place, to say ‘I was there’. Since I had taken a photograph of a place or occasion I already knew I was there. For me, photographs are like bookmarks in time. When we look back at them, they enable the viewer to travel back in time. Other people take photographs of me, so there isn’t any need for me to take photographs of me. I spent a lot of time investigating the idea of the motivations of people taking selfies and how they are drawn to similar locations to take their selfies. However, I wanted to push my creativity further and I felt that basing a project on selfies was limiting. More information about this idea can be found here.
This idea developed from ‘Ego’. Digital software enables users to manipulate their image, such as using filters, in order to achieve ‘likes’ on social networks. Cyberspace provides another dimension in which we are represented by our digital-self 24/7. Avatars interact alongside tweets, likes, and comments. Therefore they’ve got to look their best.
With GDPR being a focus in protecting identity, my ‘Interface’ idea had led me to think about how images could conceal other information. Earlier in the course, I had thought about how QR codes could be hidden in photographs to create multi-layered images in which the viewer is able to interact with. I explored using a QR code as a mask over a portrait photograph. The block design of the QR code reminded me of pixels, the basic units of all digital images. Also, when I was looking through the photo stream on my phone, to find images for ‘Interface’, the year view also reminded me over pixels. After weeks of deliberation, I had finally narrowed my thoughts down to the focus for assignment 4 and 5. After exhausting my ideas for ‘Ego’, and wanting to push myself creatively, ‘Pixels’ is the idea that I would like to put forward for my assignment.