Making Sense of the Selfie

Making Sense of the Selfie: Digital Image-Making and Image-Sharing in Social Media,” Scriptus Manet 1, No. 1 (2015): 47–59. ISSN: 2256-0564.


The article addresses digital photographic self-portraiture in social media (so-called selfies) as an emerging sub-genre of amateur photography. The article is a result of my involvement in the research project Selfiecity (2013-2014), based on the analysis of 3,200 selfies shared on Instagram from five global cities: Bangkok, Berlin, Moscow, New York, and Sao Paulo. This research project was conducted by Software Studies Initiative, a research lab led by Dr. Lev Manovich and based in the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. In this research project, the lab used computational and data visualization methods to analyze large numbers of photographs shared on Instagram. In this article, I situate the selfie in the context of history of photography and seek to inscribe this sub-genre in a broader genealogy of photographic self-portraiture.