Is there a way of understanding the poetic construction of selfhood, as it occurs in autobiographical narration, while recognizing the passion, purpose, depth, and personal significance that frequently accompanies it, without positing that sort of autonomy Author-Origin enshrined in romantic thought? (Freeman, 1999, p. 110)
Human being, Gadamer argues, is a being in language. It is through language that the world is opened up for us. We learn to know the world by learning to master a language. Hence we cannot really understand ourselves unless we understand ourselves as situated in a linguistically mediated, historical culture. (Malpas, 2009)
Dude, fuck Facebook, seriously. (Stan, South Park episode, 2010).
Well, I did it….I finally joined Facebook last month. Just in time for all the bad press the company is getting for privacy issues, too. I have resisted joining FB since it first emerged on the scene, but lurked under my husband’s profile for “research” purposes. I’ve decided to analyze this personal resistance, along with ongoing research into a philosophy of the self in a networked society. Selfpost | Postself is an ongoing project that explores not only the relationships between the above quotations, but the process of becoming a networked self and an understanding of the technologies we use in the process. Selfpost is the outing of my self to my many social networks within Facebook, adhering to a personal manifesto; Postself is the documentation of this experience on a blog that contains autobiographical musings filled with critical inquiry. This piece is also linked to a Facebook page on which the blog postings are imported and discussions are created by both the artist and participants, in order to instigate critical reflection from within the network itself.
Many artists exploring concerns of public/private notions of digital culture, choose to design their own platform, separating themselves from the system they are critiquing. I have chosen to do the exact opposite and immerse myself within the social network of Facebook in order to expose myself to the aesthetic moments of the online experience. I have also chosen to work within the structure of a wordpress blog, embracing and utilizing the technical limitations, perhaps to encourage more critical awareness from those who use these designs. I have chosen to exploit the “proximity of relations,” which Anna Munster (2001; 2008) writes about in relations to networked art, yet the challenge I foresee will be the back and forth movement between the giving of myself over to the “process of becoming” (Munster, 2001) and the critical reflection required for this work.
By the way….for anyone interested in current art/theory on networked culture, you MUST look at Networked: a (networked_book) about
(networked_art). Creative Commons. Available at: http://networkedbook.org/
Freeman, M. (1999). Culture, narrative, and the poetic construction of selfhood. Journal of Constructivist Psychology, 12(1), 99-116.
Malpas, Jeff, “Hans-Georg Gadamer”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2009 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (Ed.), Retrieved from: http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/sum2009/entries/gadamer/
Season 14, episode: “You Have 0 Friends,” http://mashable.com/2010/04/08/south-park-facebook-episode/