Presentation Title

A New Way of Seeing: Selfies as Art in Modern Society

Presenter Information

Annie Slizak

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

19-3-2016 11:45 AM

End Date

19-3-2016 12:00 PM

Abstract

This research paper analyzes the use of the “selfie” in modern photography and its acceptance as an art form. As widespread as selfies are, most people are on the fence about whether or not they can be considered art. This paper aims to alleviate some of the doubt and explain why the selfie is, in fact, an effective form of modern art. Several philosophers have voiced opinions on photography, self-portraiture, and art in general: Clive Bell states that art is based on personal subjectivity. Roger Scruton says that a painter is able to communicate his or her thoughts and feelings more accurately than a photographer could hope to, and that a painting can exist throughout time while a photograph cannot display more than a single instant in time. Ted Cohen argues that a photograph depicts an entire array of decisions made by the photographer and, therefore, the mind of the photographer, and that a photograph cannot be merely mechanical. Kendall L. Walton suggests that, while painting merely attempts realism, photography achieves it. This research paper touches on all of these topics and takes them further, likening them to selfies and their acceptance as art. The selfie is a relatively new concept that continues to change and evolve. The selfies of today may be very different from the selfies of the future, but as long as they remain an effective method of communication and self-expression, they can be considered art, and are here to stay.

Department

Philosophy

Faculty Advisor

Bruce Baugh

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Mar 19th, 11:45 AM Mar 19th, 12:00 PM

A New Way of Seeing: Selfies as Art in Modern Society

IB 1020

This research paper analyzes the use of the “selfie” in modern photography and its acceptance as an art form. As widespread as selfies are, most people are on the fence about whether or not they can be considered art. This paper aims to alleviate some of the doubt and explain why the selfie is, in fact, an effective form of modern art. Several philosophers have voiced opinions on photography, self-portraiture, and art in general: Clive Bell states that art is based on personal subjectivity. Roger Scruton says that a painter is able to communicate his or her thoughts and feelings more accurately than a photographer could hope to, and that a painting can exist throughout time while a photograph cannot display more than a single instant in time. Ted Cohen argues that a photograph depicts an entire array of decisions made by the photographer and, therefore, the mind of the photographer, and that a photograph cannot be merely mechanical. Kendall L. Walton suggests that, while painting merely attempts realism, photography achieves it. This research paper touches on all of these topics and takes them further, likening them to selfies and their acceptance as art. The selfie is a relatively new concept that continues to change and evolve. The selfies of today may be very different from the selfies of the future, but as long as they remain an effective method of communication and self-expression, they can be considered art, and are here to stay.