Self(ie) Embodiment: Reading Group Session 1

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Self(ie) Embodiment: Reading Group Session 1

What does it mean to experience our selves as bodies in a moment saturated by online image-making technologies?

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About this event

Departing from Aria Dean’s 2016 essay “Closing the Loop,” this two-part discussion group will explore how digital photography and social media impact our experiences of embodiment, exclusion and belonging in the twenty-first century. While online image-sharing platforms promise to equalize the politics of representation, social differences—including race, gender, class, sexuality, age, and ability—continue to inform how we understand which bodies matter within the wider social body. If the selfie is, in Dean’s words, "a tool for verifying and affirming your very existence on your own terms,” how do questions of power and privilege play into the risks and rewards of this photographic visibility?

In the first meeting, participants will read Dean’s essay aloud together, pausing to ask questions, reflect on the text, and contribute examples and experiences of their own. The second meeting will open with a screening of Hannah Black’s video My Bodies (2014) before turning to a conversation about how artists and image-makers use photography to speak back to the technology's capacity for surveillance and control.

Participants can register for one or both sessions. No prior reading is required, but participants should be prepared to share one image example relevant to the theme as part of the breakout discussion groups.

Please note that the sessions will be hosted via the Zoom Meeting function. Participants will be expected to join the discussion by sharing their video and audio.

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