Typologies of Hypernetworked Vernacular Self-Portraiture premiering at Flatpack this month

The Flatpack Film Festival is in a couple of weeks and I’ve been asked by The Magic Cinema to show some of my Selfie experiments as a five minute short. I said I’d be delighted to so I came up with a fancy name and decided to consider this a world premier, the first in a series of Selfie-related works I’ll be exhibiting over the next year.

The title is obviously over the top but does have a serious point. Let me break it down.

Typologies is a reference to Bernd and Hilla Becher who collected photographs of industrial architecture and presented them as groups (some examples). I’ve been aware of their work for a while but somehow hadn’t made the connection with how I’m approaching Selfies until this week. It’s nice to have an authoritative framework to play with.

Hypernetworked is a play on the “networked lens” and the hyperlink. I’m talking about photos that are made for and exist on the Internet. In other words, Instagram.

Vernacular is was the term given to photos taken by amateurs which are not considered “art” by contemporary professionals. An explosion of vernacular photography happens whenever access to cameras increases, be it the Brownie or the cameraphone, shaking up the medium and upsetting the elites. Which is always a good thing.

Self-Portraiture. I think it’s important to remember that while “selfie” is the hype-du-jour (even though most celebrated selfies are actually group photos, but don’t get me started), we’re talking about portraits that are taken by the subject who has complete control over the image, something with a long history hidden by the tech-mediated explosion the form has. I believe this makes them very different to portraits where the communication from subject to viewer is mediated by a third party.

Typologies of Vernacular Hypernetworked Self-Portraiture version 0.1 will be shown with a brief introduction as part of The Magic Cinema at Ort Cafe on Wed 26th March at some point between 7pm and 10pm (if I have a more specific time I’ll tweet it.)

Then it’ll be put forward for The Best Of Magic Cinema on Saturday 29th March from 11am to 12pm.


Here is the film!