Digital Narcissus

How would water be if it was made of data? Digital Narcissus is an interactive video installation about self-representation in the age of social media inspired by the myth of Narcissus.

 

Every minute over 300 pictures with the hashtag #selfie are uploaded on Instagram. This epidemic of narcissism creates an overflow of images which all look the same.

The viewer looks into a bowl of water and his or her image is digitally mirrored by the liquid. Many other faces start to overlap with their own, they are the images of the digital narcissists picked among the ones with the hashtags #selfie and #digitalnarcissus. The result is a flickering mash of faces where the viewers struggle to recognize themselves.

 

Poetically the myth of Narcissus presents another reflection about our relation with self-representation on social media. In some versions of the story, Narcissus does not recognize himself reflected in the pool and starve to death because he does not want to abandon that image. In the same way, technology may create an alteration of the image we project online and people might fail to recognize the difference between themselves and their digital persona.

 

To be part of the future exhibitions of this installation anyone can post a public selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #digitalnarcissus.

This will be added to the database of faces that makes the installation run.