Open Access Book

Self-Representation in an Expanded Field

From Self-Portraiture to Selfie, Contemporary Art in the Social Media Age

Edited by
May 2021
228 pages
  • ISBN978-3-03897-564-9 (Hardback)
  • ISBN978-3-03897-565-6 (PDF)

This book is part of the book series State of the Arts–Reflecting Contemporary Cultural Expression

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Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities

Defined as a self-image made with a hand-held mobile device and shared via social media platforms, the selfie has facilitated self-imaging, becoming a ubiquitous part of globally networked contemporary life. Beyond this, selfies have facilitated a diversity of image-making practices and enabled otherwise representationally marginalised constituencies to insert self-representations into visual culture. In the Western European and North American art-historical context, self-portraiture has been somewhat rigidly, albeit obliquely defined, and selfies have facilitated a shift regarding who literally holds the power to self-image. Like self-portraits, not all selfies are inherently aesthetically or conceptually rigorous or avant-garde. However, as this project aims to address via a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, selfies have irreversibly impacted visual culture, contemporary art, and portraiture in particular. Selfies propose new modes of self-imaging, forward emerging aesthetics, and challenge established methods, and they prove that as scholars and image-makers, it is necessary to adapt and innovate in order to contend with the most current form of self-representation to date.


The essays gathered herein will reveal that in our current moment, it is necessary and advantageous to consider the merits and interventions of selfies and self-portraiture in an expanded field of self-representations. We invite authors to take interdisciplinary global perspectives and to investigate various sub-genres, aesthetic practices, and lineages in which selfies intervene to enrich the discourse on self-representation in the expanded field today.

  • Hardback
License and Copyright
© 2021 by the authors; CC BY license
selfies; self-portraiture; social media; art history; representation; photography; contemporary art; Intersectionality; intersectional approaches; identity; aesthetics; contemporary life; consumer culture; avant-guard
Review mode

Each chapter in this edited book has been reviewed by the editor/s, and a minimum of two external single-blind reviewers. The opinions expressed in the chapters do not reflect the view of the publisher.

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