Lecture Wk5: Intro to Identity Online

Is the Web Browser Replacing the Art Gallery? | Idea Channel | PBS http://youtu.be/rdEZjZXirbA



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Some examples of previous students work:


The Brief:

  • Instructions: Establish and develop a website as an online artwork that responds to the theme of ‘identity online’.
    • The website should be a resolved artwork that engages with the medium and intellectual context for Internet art and digital photography in an online context.


What are the key terms in this brief?

  • Instructions: Establish and develop a website as an online artwork that responds to the theme of ‘identity online‘.
    • The website should be a resolved artwork that engages with the medium and intellectual context for Internet art and digital photography in an online context.

Interpreting the brief:

Note that there are essentially two constraints within this brief:

  1. The THEME is identity online‘. This means that the content and ideas explored in the project should engage with and comment upon the notion of ‘identity online’. It does not mean that you need to cover everything about this broad term. Indeed, we want you to find a focused specific issue, topic, experience or observation within this broad field.
  2. The technical medium and intellectual context is Internet art and digital photography in an online context. Your project must work within the technical limitations and possibilities of the internet and digital photography online.
    The project should also demonstrate an appreciation of the historical precedents and theoretical discussions that are taking place about these developments and genre. You can include references and examples of other peoples work in your proposal and ‘About’ page, but primarily this will be demonstrated by the sophistication and resolution of your final project.

Some examples of real world briefs:



How can we begin to think about ‘digital photography in an online context‘?

  • technical/material characteristics:

    • luminant screen,
    • limited pixels,
    • no colour management
    • hyperlinks
    • potential for movement (gifs)
    • what else?
  • paradigm/ontological characteristics:

    • ephemeral – a set of numbers translated on call,
    • potential for movement (gifs),
    • omnipresent – viewable by many people in different places,
    • networked via hyperlinks and computer vision.
    • Becoming the dominant form of mediated communication?
  • Examples might include blogs such as

What is ‘Online artwork / Internet art’?

What does identity online mean?

  • ‘identity’ is a persistent theme in photography, pointing to the subjectivity of the medium
  • OED Definitions of identity: “The sameness of a person or thing at all times or in all circumstances; the condition of being a single individual; the fact that a person or thing is itself and not something else; individuality, personality.”
  • Theory articles, for example,
    • Hogan, B 2010, ‘The Presentation of Self in the Age of Social Media: Distinguishing Performances and Exhibitions Online’, Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 377-86. http://ezproxy.deakin.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ907222&site=eds-live
      Abstract: Presentation of self (via Goffman) is becoming increasingly popular as a means for explaining differences in meaning and activity of online participation. This article argues that selfpresentation can be split into performances, which take place in synchronous “situations,” and artifacts, which take place in asynchronous “exhibitions.” Goffman’s dramaturgical approach (including the notions of front and back stage) focuses on situations. Social media, on the other hand, frequently employs exhibitions, such as lists of status updates and sets of photos, alongside situational activities, such as chatting. A key difference in exhibitions is the virtual “curator” that manages and redistributes this digital content. This article introduces the exhibitional approach and the curator and suggests ways in which this approach can extend present work concerning online presentation of self. It introduces a theory of “lowest common denominator” culture employing the exhibitional approach.
    • Zhao, S, Grasmuck, S & Martin, J 2008, ‘Identity construction on Facebook: Digital empowerment in anchored relationships’, Computers in Human Behavior, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 1816-36.
    • more at https://acm202.wordpress.com/tag/identity-online-theory/



Gain a sense of context:


Chose a topic:

  • What interests you in this field? Within the broad field, choose a specific topic that interests you.
    Note that you need to identify both a thematic subject – such as avatars or phubbing – and the technical framework for the theme – such as GIFs or Glitch.
  • Beware of superficial and obvious responses
  • Do not try to generate and evaluate your ideas at the same time – it does not work!
    Break it into two distinct phases – brainstorm THEN evaluate, cull and develop.


Note that you have a choice of online presentation platforms.

  • WordPress
  • Tumblr
  • Wix
  • Preszi






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