Teabags and Fingerprints: a creative consideration of a presentation of traces of the self
This research project is a creative exploration of the idea of the selfie in relation to the presentation of the self. Set against a backdrop of constantly proliferating selfies on social media sites, this practice-led research focused on a material investigation engaging with photography, imprinting, screen-printing and bookbinding. The cultural experience of selfies was initially explored and the physical appearance of a face was captured in an image. However, capturing the physical appearance of a person in a selfie does not present the authentic self as a multifaceted intangible being. Therefore the practice unfolded to examine daily life traces as a presentation of the self, without literally objectifying the self. Throughout life the body leaves traces behind, these traces show a relationship between the self and its surrounding. Ideas, imprints and processes of traces were researched and adapted into a method of personal mark-making using the lenticular effect and screen-printing. The developed process and the resulting images ensured evidence of the self remained as traces in all of the stages. Images as traces are generated as new subjects, which actualise the original imprint. The final images are bound into a book and propose the idea of a presentation of the self traced to the point prior to collapse, that is, the self is evident only as a trace.