In bridge 2, we are asked to collect 72 images that are related to our topic. 36 of them should be signifiers; the other 36 images should show the context or other artists’ work that addresses the topic.
My theme is identity, and I’m interested in gender related topics and self-image. I found some of my images online and some of them are my own photos.
At first, I did some research on how social media has affected ourselves and relationships with other people. I found some artwork that criticize social media, the digital era, the definition of beauty and gender roles(which I would summarize them as social norms). I am intrigued by the idea of how social media has played a part in our identity of my generation. It has become an essential part of human identity and we socialize through social media. However digital identity is virtual and human flesh cannot only be identified by signs and labels. Then I moved to self identity that has to do with culture and time. I discovered a lot of artists that make distorted portraits and art about identity crisis or struggle. After that, I thought of the intimate relationship between individuals and objects or things around them. For that, I put Tracy Emin’s Bed and Frida Kahlo’s self portrait.
Since identity of a person changes as time passes, I found the signifiers of time and also life. I put photos that trigger memories as well. Then I researched about the digital era and listed some signifiers that might represent our identity in 21st century and signifiers that imply being controlled or restrained by social media or other similar things. I also included a lot of symbols of beauty. In addition to that, I put some images that are related to self image such as selfies and mirrors.
1. What I learned about my topic through this image collection exercise was that everything around us identity who we are and our appearance actually plays a large part in how people identify us. We are always on a journey of finding who we are no matter how old we are.
2. What was most challenging about this research was that it is hard to keep the images diverse sometime. It is inevitable that I had repetitive idea during research.
In future, I would try this method again since it is a logical research process with a flow of mind and keep my brain creative. It is very helpful that research while thinking and it is like a brainstorm that is recorded in visual form.
Being interviewed helped me to clear up my mind and logic. It made me more certain and confident about my research and topic. Interview also brings in other people’s perspective, therefore I would know what people might react to my future work and what other stuff that I could add to my project. Hearing people presenting my research allows my to know what I might have explained wrong to or misled my interviewer, so that I can improve my wording and explanation. The most important thing I have learned from taxonomies research is that I am more certain about what I am really interested in and which topic I am going to do.