#selfie, Tom Stayte

#selfie | Tom Stayte

Tom Stayte’s #selfie examines how the process of creating and disseminating imagery has fundamentally changed in the new contexts provided by digital photography, the internet, smartphones, and the humble ‘selfie’.
Using custom-built software, the publicly available RSS feeds provided by Instagram are accessed and imagery tagged ‘#selfie’ is appropriated seconds after it is published. Open source facial recognition libraries then scan the images to identify instances of the now ubiquitous single person, arm’s length portrait. Through transforming and defamiliarising this seemingly harmless content, #selfie highlights our readiness to trust the unknown and unwittingly blur the lines between freedom of expression and self-surveillance.
Tom Stayte is from Sheffield and is interested in the role of the individual in post-digital society, our inability to comprehend scale, our willingness to trust what we don’t understand, and how our desire to be unique ultimately only reveals our similarities.