In this talk, Nicole Erin Morse discusses the production and circulation history of selfies by trans activist Zinnia Jones to argue that selfies produce new ways of being and relating in the digital era. Locating Jones’ selfies within a genealogy of art and literature that explores the significance of the relationship between the image and the embodied self, Morse examines how Jones’ selfies have been manipulated by others, as well as her own responses to these appropriations of her image, and contends that the relationships produced through these interactions generate posthuman potentialities. The stability and agency of the self is undermined as selfies appear, disappear, circulate, and transform, and as selfies are appropriated by others, the individuated boundaries of the singular self become porous, altering both our digital and our embodied selves.
Nicole Erin Morse is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Nicole’s research considers questions of authorship and spectatorship in television, pornography, new media, and social media, with articles published in Porn Studies,Feminist Media Studies, and Jump Cut. This talk opens up questions that are central to the fourth chapter of Nicole’s dissertation, Selfie Aesthetics: Form, Performance, and Transfeminist Politics in Self-Representational Art.