Language and Semiotics
As an observation of our current digital age and the prevalence of social media, much of our identity is composed on and via online platforms. There is a tendency to construct and curate what we represent as individuals by means of a certain consciousness of self-packaging. This is achieved through the images, words, and relationships we each establish and attach ourselves to.
What is presented at the other end of an active filtering becomes a loaded performative collection of signifiers/symbols where condensed fragments of lived experiences come to represent the totality of the individual. These constructions, while seemingly personal become oxymoronically less intimate when considering why these choices are made. They hold value because its significance is tied to a collective understanding of its meaning.
While on one hand, technological advancements and the ubiquitous presence of the internet has made information increasingly accessible, its many quirks have also influenced our modes of communication. When a hieroglyph of emojis can replace letters and words to infer full sentences, thoughts, and feelings, it is not hard to understand how images, symbols, visual representations become a language in and of itself. At the same time language becomes increasingly malleable, deconstructed and abstracted. Slang is quickly integrated in our daily lexicon as it is transmitted from one digital device to another at rapid speed, our thoughts and opinions can be heard from anyone with access to the platform.
It is impossible to ignore the prevalence of social media and the close ties between our lives IRL (in real life). Equal focus can then also be drawn to the intricate relationship between what is in our real lives and what is projected in the digital.
This brings into question: What is more realistic of who we are: The in-between of these fragments or the self-filtered images that subscribes to the lifestyle we want to portray? Or in one way or another, does the coming of this digital age has revolutionized and put an end to this simple dichotomy? And more importantly, how does this development inform our identity as a collective entity.
The Quotidian and Identity Politics
Each artists’ interpretation of the ideas of selfhood exemplifies the many ways of which identity is an ongoing formation that negotiates between societal conventions and their individualism that go beyond labels and fragmentation. While some try to break away from existing archetypes and modes of self-understanding, others play with the medium of popular culture (lifestyle, comics, thriller, and magazine) to feed into the pool of existing social meaning.
In an increasingly globalizing and progressive world, social categorizations that make up an understanding of identity (gender, sexual orientation, race, culture) have become increasingly fluid and sticky.
Archetypes of meaning and identity constantly shapes and are reshaped by an awareness of self-agency and is in permanent dialogue with the fluid power play between the individual and the hegemonic.
Narrative Inquiries: Abstraction of Perception
If we can understand meaning as socially and culturally constructed choices not only represent the individual but the specific social fabric they are situated in, our output (creative or not) can be a site for investigation that can reveal our unique position in time and place.
Curated by Minna Son & Nana Lee