My project explores old and new photography conventions and the representation of senior citizens in social media by making them remember their old portraits and make them take a selfie using a smart phone, which then will be assembled on a website together with the images and audio recordings.
When thinking about new technology and photography conventions, it becomes clear that the generation over 70 is somehow exempt from this process as they are not using smartphones as excessively as young people do. One of these young people phenomena is the “selfie”, a certain type of self portrait that has become widely popular in the last couple of years and it is very rarely that one might encounter a “selfie” of an old person. This I want to challenge and let old people take a selfie of themselves, ask them what they think about it and then also juxtapose this new image with an old image of them they had taken when they were young. After interviewing them I will assemble the images together with the audio recording on a website.
Thinking about social media and new technologies it becomes clear that the generation over 70 is not majorly participating in the public sphere, some might use smart phones but the majority of them aren’t and they are especially not using it the way young people do.
I’m interested to find out what their opinion is on new technology and especially the phenomena of the “selfie”, probably something new to them.
I’d like to juxtapose an old image of them (black and white portrait) and record an audio of their memory of the image and how it was taken, how they felt etc. and then explain them the idea of the selfie and let them take one of themselves.
This will happen through meeting and interviewing them, taking a copy of the old image together with the new selfie and record the interview to then be able to assemble the images on a website and underline them with the audio.
The interview questions will be based on ideas around the social exclusion of the elderly in society through the fast moving development of new technology, how especially photography has changed throughout the years, not just from a technology point of view but also how people use it to represent themselves. Both, the portraiture in the 1940’s and the modern selfie taking are following certain patterns and conventions and it would be interesting to see how senior citizens feel using new technology being enabled to take a photo of themselves and what they think about “selfies”.
How much does it differ from old conventions?