Who put the id in ID ?
Exploring the everyday images we see of ourselves, we discussed the interesting fact, that when photographed by someone else, we are often more at ease than if asked to produce a self-portrait. When photographed by someone else, we can always force a grimace, whether we manage to blink or not. No one wants to be the one ruining the group photo with a face like a wet weekend ! If in complete control of when the shutter is released and so how we choose to pose, why the deep, churning fear ? When in control of the self-portrait process, why do we feel as though we have none ? Is it because when captured by somebody else, we can hide behind the visage that we believe they see, the projected identity or avatar version of the person we think the world sees ?
The innumerable experiences from childhood to adulthood, that shape and form the encoded neural responses, learned and rehearsed over and again. Do we settle for the programming, or are we capable of unlearning the set responses that our faces project ? Muscle memory can be used to rehabilitate people who have suffered trauma, what about people who haven’t ? What if we’ve become so used to the masks we all wear, that we may be in danger of forgetting the inner self ? Is there such a thing ?
We are well aware of the subject of identity theft, it’s just one more item on the “Fear List”. The concept expects us to accept that all we are is a number – doesn’t it ? However, if we don’t accept this, don’t want ID cards as well as to be monitored 24 / 7, everywhere we go – why do we fear it ? If everything about us as individuals is condensed into an unnatractive, clinical out of date picture and a string of letters and digits, then what is it that is in danger of being stolen ?
The prevalence of Social Networking, video game character avatars, augmented and virtual reality technologies, it could be argued, could lead to a collective undoing of individuality. We are already interacting via animated versions of ourselves in dimly, monitor lit rooms. Judging each other based upon personality profiles, status updates and similarly imagined lists of numerically significant “friends”.
Are any of our fears unfounded ? Is it just the natural evolution of communication and language ? One generation just coming to terms with its age, technologically forgotten and unsure of how to feel about this ?
Watch the birdie and say, ” cheese” ……. Please see full Gallery