With this video piece, Vivian explores the need to fit in with a group and the desire for individuality.
The population of the world is huge and ever expanding. With wide-spread access to social media, it is possible to be part of the online world community, but very challenging to stand out amongst the millions who participate. We all have a need to feel significant, but it can be difficult to stand out amongst the crowd. Our identity can become wrapped up in our interactions on social media and it is easy to compare our lives to how others are presenting themselves on these platforms.
Our real-world selves can feel very separate from our on-lineidentity. This leads to feelings of depersonalization. When we spend a lot of time interacting with others in a cyber-world, something familiar to many of us as we isolate due to COVID-19, we can lose the feeling of human interaction. We are communicating with faceless and voiceless individuals, many who are known to us only through their online handle and avatar. We often do not know gender, age, ethnicity, citizenship, or really anything about them and they know little about us.
Our desire to be seen as an individual, as human, as someone who is unique and real is still there, but it is not satisfied online. Each of us has something unique to say and to share and we also want the comfort of community.
Vivian Smith is a 3rd year AUArts student living in Mohkinstsis/Calgary. She works primarily in ceramics and painting with an emphasis on form and colour. Her current practice and research are focused on the influence of society on identity, particularly in middle age. Vivian was the recipient of the 2020 AUArts Scholarship for Research Projects and Dr. J.C. Sproule Memorial Scholarship.
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