Postponed | Digital Mirror: Instagram, selfies, and the psycho-politics of our online personas
IMPORTANT: This event has been postponed due to the current public health situation. We will be publishing the new date once the situation is stable and safe for social events.
Instagram has recently banned filter effects that reproduce cosmetic procedures, including Teresa Fogolari’ ‘Plastica’ filter, which was tried on by countless people. The bans are a manifestation of Instagram’s concern for users’ well-being, and the negative impact of social media on body image.
Filters are tools for playful reinvention; they allow us to present new and countless unexpected images of ourselves without impacting our physical bodies. In the meantime, the surge in disorders such as Body Dysmorphic Disorders associated with social media usage, especially among young audiences, has been increasingly alarming professionals and members of the public. Surgeons report a rise in the number of patients requesting treatment to enhance their look in selfies.
How far can we go with these digital modifications, and who's in charge of setting the moral cursor? What is the connection between our digitally-modified reflection and our own perception of ourselves? What is the role of body image in identity formation? Can changing appearances be a way to break free from normative categorisation, for instance when thinking about gender identification or the normative criteria of beauty that has dictated our relationships to our bodies?
As part of Stillpoint Spaces London’s third anniversary event, we will be exploring these questions and more with Teresa and her filter Plastica. Come along to try out the filter yourself to see how you feel. There will be a chance to discuss this further with Teresa and psychotherapist and author of The Psychodynamics of Social Networking, Aaron Balick
Teresa Fogolari is an Italian born, London-based creative director specialising in 3D and motion design, with a penchant for all things exaggerated. While completing her degree at UAL, she further explored her skills at Lucy Hardcastle Studio Ltd., where she worked on projects for clients as Prada x Yoho! Boy, Calvin Klein Jeans, V&A and more.
With out-of-this-world visuals, her works aim to push the boundaries of reality, by blending real shapes and surreal scenarios. Her practice includes a variety of outcomes, from digital content to printed editorials, from commercials to VFX.
Exploring the potential of 3D, Teresa has worked in VR and AR, to bring her visions to life and share them with her audience. Her works sparked debates over the boundaries of ethical practices in design and have been featured on publications internationally, including Dazed, The New Yorker, Vogue, and i-D.
After working for clients as Playstation, Coeval Magazine and BLOK, in 2019 she started freelancing with fellow 3D designer Sai Aya
Aaron Balick, PhD is a psychotherapist, cultural theorist, and author applying ideas from depth psychology to culture and technology. He is an honorary senior lecturer at the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex (UK). His books include The Psychodynamics of Social Networking: connected-up instantaneous culture and the self and the illustrated children’s self-help book Keep Your Cool: how to deal with life’s worries and stress and most recently, The Little Book of Calm: tame your anxieties, face your fears, and live free. Aaron is the director of Stillpoint Spaces, an international psychology, co-working, therapy, and events hub. Aaron is based in London.
Dr Marc Bush
Marc is the Co-Director of Human-Experience. He has a background in research, policy, and practice change, and specialises in the fields of disability, mental health, psychotraumatology, and youth. Marc works across Government, NGO and public sectors, is a Visiting Professor in Public Health, and is on the Disability Advisory Committee of the Equality & Human Rights Commission.
Rosie is Course Leader for MA Fashion Cultures at the London College of Fashion, UAL. She researches digital fashion cultures and embodiment and dress, and her research been published in a number of journals, most recently Communication, Culture and Critique and Fashion Theory. Her monograph, Personal Style Blogs: Appearances that Fascinate, which considers the emergence and impact of personal style blogging, was published in 2017
This event is co-produced by Stillpoint Spaces London and Estelle Marois.
This event is also part of our celebrations for our third anniversary. To find out what else is happening this day, head here.