MAS 963: Techno-identity seminar

April 20 :: Visualization of Identity



In a New Yorker article about Rembrandt, the critic Simon Schama said

In fact, portraits are a three-way negotiation, involving the sitter's sense of identity, the painter's perception of that identity, and the social conventions that the portrait is expected to satisfy... In seventeenth centruy Holland, artists were required to supply a good likeness of the sitter, but even artists who gave little thought to such matters assumed that a likeness would be something other than a facsimile

Think about how you would create a digital portrait of an individual. For this week's writeup, discuss the major issues that you think must be raised in creating representations of individuals and their behavior. Some possible questions to consider:

What characteristics of an individual must be conveyed? How would you show an individual's interactions with others? How should a digital portrait change over time? What aspects of an individual's context should be conveyed in the portrait? Is there any information about an individual that should not be revealed? What are the consequences of creating a representation for an individual? How much control should an individual have over their digital representation?

Please submit your essay by Sunday evening, and spend some time before class reading over the other essays.

Class on Monday will be a group discussion. Please come prepared with a handful of thought-out questions or comments on this topic; be prepared to engage the group in conversation.