Digital portraits

25 : 11 : 2016 Identity : Margot Bowman : Multimedia Art

London – A new exhibition by multimedia artist Margot Bowman creates a digital stamp that represents people’s cultural identity.

  • The online platform uses code to create a new hybrid identity based on users’ ‘geographical, spiritual and personal touchpoints’
  • It asks questions such as ‘How many places do you call home?’ and ‘How do you interact with people who are different from you?’
Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London
Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London
Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London
Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London Identify by Margot Bowman part of Tate Collectives, London

In an age when technology enables us to have a range of different identities, Margot Bowman’s new work, Identify, uses an algorithm to explore and visualise the ways in which we self-identify today. The software, created by Bowman and the developer Edvin Candon, accesses the camera on users’ computers to provide a base image onto which graphics are added depending on the answers provided to a range of questions.

‘In a world in which people have the freedom to self-identify, old top-down systems of cultural representation – a stamp with an old woman’s face on it or a coin that features a plant you’ve never seen – are out of touch and alienating,’ Bowman told It’s Nice That.

The online concept was accompanied by a workshop at Tate Modern at which Bowman discussed the premise behind the work and showed how the coding works.

The Big Picture

As we create multiple identities for ourselves both online and offline our means of self-identification become more obscure and less tangible. For more, see our macrotrend The Sharded Self.

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