Sunday, December 30, 2012

Representation: My Blue Square Is A Giant Spider

I rarely post pictures of myself online. This goes back awhile, but I started gaining an aversion for self-representations of myself on the internet a few years ago. I wasn't ok with images of my face, which I selected, standing in for my presence. I valued actual presence over a simulated one. I didn't want someone to be able to gaze at my avatar and feel a sense of intimacy. So to do this I started choosing for my avatar a picture of myself with my face obscured. I had a picture of my face blocked by a sparkler. I wore a horse mask. The light whited out half of my face. I was the color red or the color blue. I was a hand drawn image of myself.
recently I started posting pictures of myself, not as my avatar, but just in my various feeds. it's kind of scary. what do people think, what do they want to say, but don't. the response is mostly positive.
Someone shared this article on twitter the other day about a recently discovered spider in the Amazon that builds a normal web, but arranges debris in the center of the web that resembles a larger spider.

the actual spider is just the rear end of the whole spider image

Here is one scientist's thoughts, from Wired:
“Considering that spiders can already make really impressive geometric designs with their webs, it’s no surprise that they can take that leap to make an impressive design with debris and other things,” he said."
Idk, that doesn't seem like a design, to me. It seems like a representation. Somehow the spider developed the ability to create a representation of itself or of another spider.
I'm fine with being tagged in images other people make. that means that i was there, sharing a space with another human and a camera.
My avatars:

my aversion to self-representation has a lot to do with the fact that I'm aware of myself. I know what I look like and I know what I look like to other people and I'm afraid of that. I'm afraid of other people creating an image of me in their mind based on an image i created of myself. Creating an abstraction of myself, i hope, allows others to interact with me in their mind more freely.
i wonder if my little blue square, or red square, or whatever color my square is next, comes to a person's mind when they think of me. that would be lovely
The spider is likely unaware of it's own image, or the image of other spiders.

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