Joseph Kanski / elmediat: Post Medieval Kirlian : Self Portrait

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-1 2015

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-2 2015

It happened a long time ago – or did it ?
Consider this what if, towards the end of the Medieval Period there was a shift from Illuminated Manuscripts to the use of Kirlian Photography. Everyone would be taking self portraits, well those who could afford the latest app, ………
The self-portrait, what is its purpose/message ? An affirmation of one’s sense of existence ? An expression of one’s hopes and fears made manifest, and then conveyed in an image to the world ? Or have we reduced our image to media content that is incorporated into a constructed reality and then have it consumed and repurposed by the viewing audience ? Do we illuminate and reveal ourselves or attempt to hide behind a manufactured context ?
What is the true story of the text ?

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-3 2015

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-4 2015

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-5 2015

Joseph Kanski post-medieval-kirlian-6 2015

© Joseph Kanski / elmediat 2015
blog: Dark Pines Photo
blog: Implied Spaces


13 thoughts on “Joseph Kanski / elmediat: Post Medieval Kirlian : Self Portrait

    • Thanks very much Barry. This is what happens to retired teachers of mass media literacy – especially if they are married to a retired art teacher. :D

  1. Such a good post, Joseph.
    When I hear / read people talking of the vanity of ‘today’s youth’ because of the proliferation of profile pics and ‘selfies’, I disagree. I think whenever such things were made possible the same thing would have happened.
    I remember jumping into photobooths frequently, alone or with friends, very often.

    • Once again thanks for including me in your blog.

      I agree with your assessment of our present culture of the selfie – this fascination with self in a particular moment and time is an expression of a past behaviour using new mass media technology. In the past the young would use Polaroid Cameras, those throw-away holiday cameras and photo-booths to express the same sense of identity. Older folk were not that much better. How many family albums and slide collections are filled with shots of aunt and uncle / grandparents standing in front of some monument or significant location at a significant time. The difference is that in the past those “snapshots” were shared with a few friends & family. Today we share them with the world. It is the public extension of our self expression that has changed.

      The unintended consequence is that we have turned that expression of self into mass media content that can be shared & altered either in form or context. We join all the public figures and celebrities of the past in becoming malleable media content. A portion of our self now belongs to the world.

  2. I really like these …

    I have a love/hate relationship with the selfie. I think that some of them are rather narcissistic … the sort that people use simply to get followers to their blog/instagram, etc.

    But, I think – as evidenced in this blog – there are the kinds of selfies I enjoy: they express something. Whether it’s personality, or emotion, or simply to make a grander point – they aren’t just put out there to say ‘oh look at me!”

    However, I think that maybe it would be fair to call selfies the new ‘memoir’. It’s a way to capture who we are – even if the image is meant to show off. I think that in a world of 7 billion people, we sometimes feel lost in the crowd. Maybe the selfie is our way of (as you say), ‘affirming our existence.’

    These are really brilliant …

    • Thanks very much. I really like that idea of selfie as the new memoir. It is an extension of how in the recent past the photo album functioned as a personal/family journal.

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