An Intellectual Selfie: Halfway Checkpoint

So we have made it halfway through the 30 day project on self photography. So far I have tried to stray away from any heavy duty analysis so as not to levy too many critiques. First, if you are unaware of why I am doing a 30 day examination of the selfies, please read here. At the bottom I will attach all of the days of posting, as a reference point for marking the halfway point of this project. Normally, when a researcher proposes to do research we rarely get to see under the hood. Research methodology becomes a trade secret, something the public rarely gets to understand. With quantitative and survey methods we get P-Values (if we’re lucky, and can even evaluate them) and “people favoured X, 19 times out of 20”. We are left with half of the answer, because we do not know: the questions asked, the method for getting said information, how was consent achieved etc. Practically, this would be a difficult and potentially unethical amount of information to show. Researchers cannot just give out people’s individual information, calls cannot be recorded and then shown to the public individually. Even if they could, who has time to cull every interview to see the researchers did the right job? My photo’s and posts are the raw pictures and words that I had the chance to write at the time. While I rarely edit my blog, I spend significantly more time deciding what to write than I have a single picture. If I were to write something about this work, it would be considerably more polished than anything that has been written yet. I also cannot fill in information later, thereby recreating a picture. If we were looking for an as-authentic-as-possible experience, we are pretty close to finding it. Day 2, is a fairly obvious example of this. Needless to say, that picture probably would not make the cut into a final project. That is not to say that I would totally re-cultivate my image. Part of being a good person and researcher is being reflexive, and willing to drag your own name through the mud. As the days progressed, I think I have gotten better and better at trying to take pictures. Day 4 became a pivotal moment in photo-taking. I am fairly uncomfortable with talking about my own work with people, and what I am doing. While some of my friends were confused, they were overall supportive. Day 4, still sees an inherent self-reflexivity in the act of picture taking. From Day 4:

“I find myself unable to explain the project to others, and also I tend to hide my camera from those who are not involved.”

Day 5, shows the progression towards a more relaxed, approach to writing. While I would not say any of the photos are particularly attractive, photo-taking a a dirty job, finger cut, eating pizza, probably tops the list for worst picture. A point: I am not a photographer, and even if I were, taking the perfect photo is not an inherent requirement for the purpose of self-analyzing oneself. If you are that person, consider what that says about you (not in a bad way, I would be truly interested in how you felt about that!). Day 6 saw the rise of the ‘multi-picture’ post. One selfie to keep the project aloof, and then the rest to actually show what I had made. I think Day 6 was particularly pivotal, because it was the first day this project did not seem like something that I was forcing myself to do! Part of that was doing something that was actually enjoyable. The other part was starting to prefigure out what and where my selfies would be taken. There have also been a few setback in this project. Namely on days: 9, 13,14. Day 9 was only problematic because I forgot the one main rule of research. Never forget your tools! I had a great opportunity to photograph in a climbing gym and missed it! Day 13, is the day that never existed. I woke up that morning thinking it would be a good idea to implement some videos in my blog posts. After all, video selfies can capture slightly longer moments, and also my poi! The trick was to try spinning poi while taking a selfie. I took 16 takes, and they were all fairly horrible. I eventually got a video, and decided I would post it in the evening, when I could get my roommate to take a video of me spinning poi, so that everyone could see what the LED’s looked like. Alas, I forgot wordpress requires me to pay to host video, which is fair enough because it is wordpress. So Day 13 stays in my files, probably forgotten forever. Day 14, was just a particularly poor picture, and does not require too much of an analysis. The Next 15 Days The next 2 weeks will consist of various things. Obviously, I cannot forsee exactly what it will look like, because to do so would lack spontaneity, but there are some things I would like to include. Namely, one of the next Thursdays will have a #tbt in it, because I think it’s an interesting idea to address. I will also try and create a critical analysis 3-4 Fridays from now on the project, in a similar, but more constructed fashion than this. Overall, I look forward to the next 15 days, and would love your pictures too!

Day 1: Quarry Rock 

Day 2

Day 3: The Morning After

Day 4: Birthdays and Gaming

Day 5: Working

Day 6: DIY Jean Shorts

Day 7: Gardening

Day 8: Coffee

Day 9: Climbing

Day 10: Brewing Beer

Day 11: dnd

Day 12: Letter Writing

Day 14: My Bass!

Day 15: Buying Beer

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