questions about selfies

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1) Who makes Selfies?

2) Does the context of the Selfie play an important part in making the Selfie a Selfie?

In other words, does the place where the Selfie [is taken] play an important role?

Or does any picture that you take of yourself count?                   

                                                                                                          —Christine Laffer

 (( May 2016, more at:


>  The good ole’ selfie! Check out my take on selfies!, December 3, 2014

 Is there a significant difference between Selfies and self portraits?—atatt, December 6, 2014

Great question! For me, it depends on a lot of other questions that maybe also need answers. I can start off and say “Self-portraits is the category and Selfies is a subset of that category” — but it doesn’t really enlighten me about what Selfies are as a phenomenon and as a new type of image making. Selfies have a social networking aspect that set them apart from what we think of as self-portraits, don’t you think?—tapestryresource, December 9, 2014

1982. photo Dom Franco

Selfies are a current aspect of a larger trend–the history of photographic technology and the social history of photography. How did people image/ construct images of themselves prior to the photographic image, or prior to the technology for manufacturing large, smooth mirrors, for that matter? (I knew my great-grandmother–her grandmother would not have had photography. It’s not so far-fetched to think in this way.) Is it even possible for me to image myself without the influence of photography (whether I consciously refer to photographs or not)? I guess what I’m asking is, can we really take the Selfie out of self-portrait in the 21st century? (Or the other way around?)—mls

And how does a selfie-on-slo happen? Does the camera disappear because its participation in the selfie is too brief? In other words, does the selfie extend into a space-time of before and after the instant of the snapshot? If you are at a workout in your gym routine what causes you to stop for your smartphone, return to your exercise stance and snap the shot, repose yourself again and again until you get it right (and what is “right”?), then return to finish up your exercise? At what point in dressing or undressing do you take a shot of yourself as a partial nude, as a body that determines your gender, your sex, that you have experienced in many ways over time and that you now clip into Instagram? —tapestrylaffer, December 17, 2014

3 thoughts on “questions about selfies

    1. <Ed: message forwarded from attat to the Selfies blog

      From our favorite source ;-) Wikipedia:
      “Images of artists at work are encountered in Ancient Egyptian painting, and sculpture[11] and also on Ancient Greek vases. One of first self-portraits was made by the Pharaoh Akhenaten’s chief sculptor Bak in 1365 BC. Plutarch mentions that the Ancient Greek sculptor Phidias had included a likeness of himself in a number of characters in the ‘Battle of the Amazons’ on the Parthenon, and there are classical references to painted self-portraits, none of which have survived.”

      There are internal links in that text that you can check out if you follow this link to the wiki page:

      ? And what about death masks? A passive self-portrait?—attat


  1. You might say that the effect of editing in a slo-made self-portrait is paralleled by the results of editing a series of photo-snaps. Ie; an edited single slo is like a single snap (resulting from an edited series). Editing is still editing; selection still selection; the processes and their relation to time might differ outwardly, but isn’t the editing that happens in the slo-maker’s head much like editing via a series of deleted images in the camera? Does the camera Selfie only PRETEND to be candid? Is it in some ways MORE contrived than conventional portraiture? —mls


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