In the NFB film “VTR St-Jacques” members of the general public are given access to video and audio recording equipment for the purpose of creating a short documentary about their community. When they screen the documentary in their community centre, for the first time in their lives these regular people see their own faces lit up on a screen previously only occupied by movie stars and news anchors. They saw their own opinions and ideas expressed without a third party moderator deciding what to cut out and what to leave in. They were in control of how they represented themselves in the film. This moment felt so electric to me because, at least for the people in that room, it was the birth of the opportunity to finally express themselves from their own perspective, unmoderated; but consequently it was also the birth of the ability to modify and curate the self for display.
Today, Instead of just being documented by other people, we have the opportunity to document ourselves and entirely shape the way we are perceived online. How healthy is our relationship to our second, curated digital self?
In Micheal Stevens’ (Vsauce) video on selfies he talks about how today we worship images and more specifically content online. This relationship to images and videos can make it feel as though you’re nothing if not documented, creating a dangerous dynamic between self worth and self documentation.
“In the midst of this image world was the human animal, an organism that got to look at images, but wasn’t one. Which was too bad, because to be an image was to be something”
⁃ Micheal Stevens
Artwork title: Self Depiction
Medium: Oil on masonite
Sam Phippen is an Oakville-based artist who is a recent graduate of the Illustration Program at Sheridan College. Working primarily in oil and charcoal, Sam creates paintings composed of multiple subjects and styles that work together to form one cohesive idea.
Selection of Recent work