Making up – The “post-human” bodies and gender disobeying at the turn of the millennium
The aim of my paper will be in defining the development of “post-human” looks and lifestyles of artists, performers and individuals better-known trough their Instagram pseudonyms like @isshehungry, @salvjiia, @ines_alpha to name a few. I will analyze how their make up styles are “shaping” their corporal and gender representation creating what is surpassing male or female, beyond human for that matter. These artists, performers, and individuals that were at one point called the “club kids”, are becoming through social media celebrities and entrepreneurs, with hundreds and thousands of followers, forming their own economies and becoming the influence of the mainstream; at the same time recycling the mainstream into something larger than life.
Instagram, a perfect medium for digital exposure of “public intimacy” (Thrift), allows an embodiment of a certain “allure”, that Thrift defines as “the creation of worlds in which the boundaries between alive and not alive and material and immaterial have become increasingly blurred” (Thrift, 2010). The digital “in materiality” (Parikka) allows construction of gender identity and corporality not constrained by the physically possible, exhilarating the mixing of different “specificities” and embodiments.
By briefly tracing the history of the individuals that fought the normative gender throughout the 20th century, my aim is to shine light on these crucial pioneers of the progress of “the necessity to transform” that “come (s) not to claim the rightness but to dismantle the system that meters our rightness and wrongness according to the dictates of various social orders” (Halberstam, 2018) .
Secondly, I will unpack the illustrations of the embodiment of the early "digital materiality" simulation of self, in a form of an avatar, constructed by juxtaposing of high and low culture, motivated by the post-structuralist fragmentation of self, indeed blurring the uncompromising differences between human and animal and human from the machine (Haraway)
Finally, by considering the notion of flow, excellently interpreted by Boris Groys - the material flow being irreversible, and the Internet being founded on the possibility of return and reproduction - I will consider the effects of “zooming in” in through outlets like “insta stories” or “on live” in the perpetual process directed at both self and others, of interminably curating, creating, performing and transforming one's corporality through processing of images, data, information, knowledge, fashion, makeup, photo apps and even personalized augmented face filters.
In conclusion, I will be offering answers to the following questions:
How did the medium of the Internet change the message (McLuhan)? How is it changing the way we send the message? How did this continuous window into “public privacy” enabled us never to end the message?
Groys, Boris. (2016) In the Flow London: Verso
Halberstam, Jack, “Unbuilding Gender,” Places Journal, October 2018.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.22269/181003 (Accessed: 23/01/2019)
Haraway, D. (2004). The Haraway reader. New York: Routledge.
Thrift, Nigel (2010) Understanding the Material Practices of Glamour The
Affect Theory Reader (Kindle Locations 3983-3984 and Locations 4014-4015).