In an era of networked individualism, a prolificacy of online images necessitates of us a visual literacy. In what way do the aesthetics of this environment encode our development of emotion? To what extent does cultural learning influence the social expression of these activity states? How does media education empower us to be agents more than vectors of cultural transmission? Probing the interaction between emotional processes (with which we perceive, engage, and regulate our experience of self) and photo-editing software (through which we frame, appraise, and communicate our imaging for self), I curate renditions of a kiss on the computer desktop that is my canvas. Crafting a multimodal visual inquiry (screenshots and textual witness), I employ cultural analysis informed by the paradigm of mind science to investigate this reciprocity between the internal character of emotion (its biological causality, environmental induction, and inwardly-directed aesthetic re-presentation) and the external exhibition of these activation states (bodily posture, social valuation, and poetic expression). As neuroimagery inspires a new art history, and artworks emigrate from cultural-heritage sites to hand-held screens, I demonstrate how digital art may advance a critical awareness of emotion in society by examining how we image the affections of our daily lives.

 

Schiller_Filters_quarterscale_120dpi

The Filters We Live Through, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 70 1/2 inches, 2014.

 

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The Filters We Live Through, Panel 1

The Filters We Live Through, Panel 1, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.

 

The Filters We Live Through, Panel 2

The Filters We Live Through, Panel 2, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.

 

The Filters We Live Through

The Filters We Live Through, Panel 3, visual essay, digital, 13 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches, 2014.

 

Images Cited

Dreamstime. www.dreamstime.com (accessed May 4, 2014). Photograph adjusted from © Mkmakingphotos, ‘Lover statue at Rodin museum, Paris France’, photo taken on December 17, 2011, ID#23058566. Photograph used with permission under the Dreamstime limited Royalty Free (RF-LL) license. Photograph depicts Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss (c. 1882, marble, H. 181.5 cm x W. 112.5 cm x D. 117 cm, Musée Rodin, catalogue # S.1002/Lux.132).

 

Artworks and essay © 2014 Devon Schiller. All rights reserved.