Sophia Oppel

Sophia Oppel / Identity Formatting

This work poses a re-examination of my concept for my generative project and a continuation of the idea that digital networking serves as an augmentation of social codes and hierarchies, allowing us to edit their content and thwart their physical manifestations without fundamentally changing or re-articulating them.

The Web can be used to edit identities only in so far as overlapping and re-structuring existing imperial frameworks. In this work, bodily identity becomes a conglomerate of reconfigured images, potentially more malleable through a digital guise. While gender is rendered abstract, malleable and ambiguous, these bodies are still limited by traditional physical signifiers.

The fragmentation of the bodies can be understood as an interpretation of the “scission of the ego” that Dante Tanzi believes to come about through non-linear Internet surfing. I think of this potential fragmentation as a mode to laterally restructure identity.

In her 2013 talk “The Photographic Universe” at the New School, Hito Steyerl discusses the contemporary desire to “camouflage” to ones surroundings. Steyrel argues that as our surroundings are largely augmented and hyper real, to camouflage is to essentially become a body of pixels or a walking video installation.

In my installation, the 3D rendered is placed on the same plane as indexical photographic content just as pre-sets are placed on the same plane as hand-rendered bodies, flattening the algorithmic and the subjective to create a falsified composite. The act of projecting these digital forms on to a physical “body” reminds one of the process we undergo via social media to mask and brand ourselves with other images that we curate in our own subjective indexes. Some forms are overlaid with brand names and webpages to suggest the self as a commodity form, able to be marketed to by corporations which track our online data. In this way, the act of choosing denotes a recorded and surveyed informational act that invites the imperial power of the online corporations to further colonize the internet with marketable data.

The inflatable form acts as a literal augmentation of a body; a falsified layering over skin just like our online corporate data profiles. I chose a mass-produced readymade to reflect artificially constructed selves and corporate branding.

Some very faint lines remain around the images I modeled and edited to denote both an underlying imperial architecture and to remind the viewer that these complex forms are sourced from images and take the form of a re-purposed digital collage. I chose to display this website as one of many tabs to contextualize it within a stream of online information. 

Next – whitecube.obj

Using Format