Summarizing my research on the selfie and photography in social media

It is September 2019, and I’m looking back at more than twenty years of writing about art and photography. During the last few years, one of my areas of expertise was the selfie and photography in social media. As of now, I feel I’ve said everything that I had to say about the topic, and it is the right time to briefly summarize my work in the area. There’s no doubt I will return to contemporary issues in future research projects. Meanwhile, I’ll concentrate on my next book project on networking and transnational exchange among photographers at midcentury.

Here’s the summary of articles and book chapters in chronological order of publication:

  • “The Selfie: More and Less than a Self-Portrait,” in Moritz Neumüller, ed., Routledge Companion to Photography and Visual Culture (London, New York: Routledge, 2018), 44–58. Learn more about the article and download a pdf here.

  • "Competitive Photography and the Presentation of the Self," together with Lev Manovich. In Jens Ruchatz, Sabine Wirth, and Julia Eckel, eds., Exploring the Selfie: Historical, Analytical, and Theoretical Approaches to Digital Self-Photography (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), 167-187. Learn more about the article and download a pdf here.

  • “Rules of the Photographers’ Universe,” Photoresearcher, No. 27 (April 2017): 68-77. Special issue "Playing the Photograph," edited by guest editors Matthias Gründig and Steffen Siegel. Download a pdf here.

  • "The Networked Camera at Work: Why Every Self-Portrait Is Not a Selfie, but Every Selfie is a Photograph," in Santa Mičule, ed., Riga Photography Biennial 2016 (Riga: Riga Photography Biennial, 2016), 74-83. Learn more about the article and download a pdf here.

  • “Selfiecity: Exploring Photography and Self-Fashioning in Social Media,” together with Lev Manovich. In David M. Berry and Michael Dieter, eds., Postdigital Aesthetics: Art, Computation and Design (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), 109-122. Learn more about the article and download a pdf here.

  • “Art of the Masses: From Kodak Brownie to Instagram,” Networking Knowledge 8, No. 6 (2015): 1-16. Special issue “Be Your Selfie: Identity, Aesthetics and Power in Digital Self-Representation,” edited by Laura Busetta and Valerio Coladonato. Download a pdf here.

  • “Making Sense of the Selfie: Digital Image-Making and Image-Sharing in Social Media,” Scriptus Manet 1, No. 1 (2015): 47–59. Download a pdf here.

  • "What’s Next after the Year of the Selfie, or Work-in-Progress by Lev Manovich and the Software Studies Initiative,” Studija 94, no. 1 (2014): 6-21. Download a pdf here.

  • “The Selfie: Making sense of the ‘Masturbation of Self-Image’ and the ‘Virtual Mini-Me’,” Selfiecity, 2014. The essay that started it all. Read more about Selfiecity project and my contribution to it, and download a pdf here.

In addition to these articles and book chapters, I have also presented some thoughts about the selfie in the following talks:

  • "The Networked Camera: Mapping the Universe of Instagram Photography" is a talk I presented at the panel Social Media in Theory & Praxis: What Is at Stake Now? at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, April 18, 2018. Read more about my talk here.

  • "The Selfie: More and Less than a Self-Portrait," an invited talk at the symposium What Now? 2016: On Future Identities, organized by Art in General in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, New York City, May 21, 2016. Read more here.

  • "Taking the Selfie Seriously: A Study of the Most Misunderstood Genre of Photography," an invited talk at the Riga Photography Biennial symposium "Image and Photography in the Post-Digital Era,” Riga, Latvia, April 22, 2016. Read more here.