Public, Private, Secret: On Photography & the Configuration of Self
Charlotte Cotton and Marina Chao
Public, Private, Secret explores the roles that photography and video play in the crafting of identity, and the reconfiguration of social conventions that define our public and private selves. Consciously framed by our present era, this collection of essays, interviews, and reflections assesses how our image-making and consumption patterns are embedded and implicated in a wider matrix of online behavior and social codes, which in turn give images a life of their own. Within this context, our visual creations and online activities blur and remove conventional delineations between public and private (and sometimes secret) expression; in fact, they multiply and expand the number of potential selves in the contemporary image-centric world. The writings address the various disruptions, resistances, and subversions that artists propose to the limited versions of race, gender, sexuality, and autonomy that populate mainstream popular culture. In so doing, they anticipate a future for our image-world rich with diversity and alterity, one that can be shaped and influenced by the agency of self- representation.