When asked to define ourselves we often use broad brushstrokes. Without thinking we consult our internal list of “things that make me, ME” and find ourselves recalling words like “creative, outgoing, photography, guitar” before we’ve even had a chance to fully process the question. But how much does this internal list define us?
I believed that my internal list was the best representation of myself until I read a quote by Annie Dillard that states: “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives”. This quote hit me like a punch in the gut, it’s blatant truth so indisputable; how I spent my days, regardless of what I told myself about myself, was ultimately who I was. Or at the very least would be how I had spent my life. This is why, when completing my self portrait, I decided to focus on the everyday.
Within my self portrait I wanted to present the viewer with a familiar yet abstract sense of reality through which we get to see amalgamated glimpses of the everyday acts that define me, rather than a linear narrative or a simple re-telling of ‘a day in the life’. Thus combining to create a picture of: my daily life, through an abstracted version of ‘the everyday’.
To create a sense of ‘the day’ or linear progression of time I segmented my video with four still images of the sky in various stages of daylight (morning, midday, afternoon, evening) that match the lighting seen in each concurrent video segment. The everyday acts that define me were presented in a series of short video segments that include scenes of me catching the tram, recording music and riding my bike. To disrupt the sense of linear narrative the visual segments are bluntly edited together, with nothing linking the sequential shots and a quite abrupt ending. I also attempted to create an overall sense of confounded time and space by overlaying audio from certain video segments onto others. Long, singular focus, handheld shots were also used to enhance the sense of voyeuristic glimpses.
Catch you later, Louise Alice Wilson