Do it for the gram
Cyborg Anthropology, a field concerned with the blend of humans and technology, introduces the concept of the 'Second Self' as a descriptor for one's online or external identity. This online persona doesn't merely exist in parallel with our offline existence; it is becoming an integral extension of our true selves. Just as we care for our offline image, the online self demands attention, maintenance, and presentation.
A paradigm shift in the age of social media has democratized influence. Fashion titans, acclaimed brands, and influential magazines have seen their power wane, giving way to everyday individuals on platforms like Instagram. This democratization has led to the commercialization of influence, with regular individuals now monetizing their vast online followings by endorsing products, particularly in the fashion industry.
However, this trend comes with its own caveats. Instagram influencers often display a constant stream of new products, perpetuating the notion that once showcased, an item should never be repeated. This relentless cycle of consumption and display hints at the ever-evolving nature of our 'Second Self'.
In the digital age, there has been a burgeoning potential to articulate oneself through virtual fashion, bypassing the need for physical material goods. The importance of adorning the body, virtually or physically, remains consistent. Yet, in the virtual realm, the body undergoes a transformation. It becomes a cyborg entity, more malleable and perfectible than its biological counterpart. Moreover, events in the virtual space don't occur in isolation; they ripple into the physical realm, influencing and being influenced by tangible occurrences.
Delving into this concept, the project's approach was inherently reflexive. Given its concern with the performance of the self, the creator became the muse. This journey was one of introspection, experimentation, and visual translation. Complexities emerged at every turn, necessitating a multi-faceted exploration.
The project's speculative nature led to the creation of a photorealistic avatar, an embodiment of the designer, pushing the boundaries of what defines reality and identity in digital spaces.
In a climactic culmination, the final exhibition juxtaposed the creator's digital and physical identities. Videos of the designer and her avatar, both adorned in similar fashion, oscillated between the real and the virtual, prompting viewers to ponder the interplay between these realms.
At its core, "Do It for the Gram" doesn't seek to provide definitive answers. Instead, as a speculative design project, it nudges viewers towards introspection. What does authenticity mean in a digital age? If an avatar, a true replica of oneself, acts in a controversial manner, who bears the responsibility? This project is an invitation to question, to reflect, and to understand the evolving dance between our primary and second selves in an increasingly digital world.
Note: This project showcases the designer's initial foray into 3D modeling and virtual fashion. As such, some elements may reflect the early stages of the learning curve. Your understanding and appreciation for the evolutionary journey of a designer are greatly valued.