The Presentation of Self

Posted on March 29, 2012 by Patrick under Final Project

I have been thinking recently about pinning down my research question for my final project. My starting point has been an interest in exploring our relationship with technology. In particular, I’m interested in the idea of ‘digital identity’. I want to create an art installation that explores the relationship between your physical body and your digital identity. The aim is to try and draw a correlation between two aspects of our identity that are normally divorced from each other.

Gabriela suggested an interesting book to me called ‘The Presentation of Self’ by Erving Goffman. Goffman uses the metaphor of a theatre performance to talk about aspects of our identity, commenting that we have a ‘front stage’ and ‘back stage’ version of ourselves. This could be a good starting point for research. I like in the idea that (as described by Dramaturgical Theory) a persons identity is not a stable and independent entity, rather it is constantly remade as a person interacts with others. I think that this idea, combined with generative art I have talked about previously, could have very interesting results.