by Beauchamp Art
Photographs of a computer screen displaying images of Aaron; in the form of his Facebook profile picture icon enlarged and pixelated, a painted rendition of this image, then editing the picture in Photoshop; through a magnifying glass (and spectacles in some images), abstracting and obscuring the original image further, until it is totally unrecognizable, uncanny in the dehumanization of the figure through multiple reproductions.
This deconstruction of the visual information originally present in the image, broken down into incomprehensible forms relates to the potential dissolution of the clear, singular identity of the living person by a greater integration of social faculties into online modern means of communication, especially social networking websites. In this environment, there is a schism between the physical and online self, which leaves the true identity of the individual in an ambiguous state in between. In other words, with communications mediated through digital platforms, the clarity of an individual’s personality may become obscured, much as these photos have obscured the identity of the person.
By looking too closely at the raw visual data of the pictures, they have lost their original meaning. Acatamathesia is the inability to comprehend what the senses detect, to understand the world, especially with regards to conversation and discourse. Auxesis is an intentional over-exaggeration or hyperbole overstating the reality; metaphorically speaking, it could also be applied to the over-magnification of images, hereby obscuring their content. This seemed fitting given the perceived significance in the affects of social media on face-to-face communication; where soothsayers may call it the apocalypse of discourse, rather than being weary that such means of correspondence are simply a continuation of previous technological developments; an evolution in communication rather than a revolution.
The future of our network society is uncertain, and predictions to far ahead are bound to seem foolhardy in hindsight. Whatever shall become of human interaction affected by new technologies is not clear; what will become of the self when identity grows into networked ubiquity? ‘What hath God wrought?’ The first Moorse code message, and still fitting. As are T.S. Elliot’s words, from ‘The Rock’: “All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance, all our ignorance brings us nearer to death, but nearness to death no nearer to God.” The spirituality of the modern age could be seen as the longing for understanding, rather than salvation. An understanding unreachable.
[Also, ‘A’s are in abundance as Aaron alias initiates with a pair of ‘A’s, and thus alliterative annotations are an absolute acute imperative.]