The Perfect Selfie

Image: random Instagram selfie.

The technology through which we measure, celebrate and cultivate our selves is simultaneously the blind-spot in our vision of that Self; this is as much a symptom of the technology as it is endemic of the introspective cultural and psychological process of self-definition.

A technology of language and communication (or, really, any other art) has been performing precisely this same role of functional obfuscation – not of any particular thing but of a suggested or suggestive mystery that always and already implies a core or purpose and meaning, quite abstract and detached from there ever needing to actually be one.

It is a problem so obvious that we don’t notice that in viewing ourselves as we choose for others to see us, we obscure the possibility of ever providing a whole and uninterrupted image and complete reflection of wholeness either of or for ourselves.

It is also a deeper reflection upon the irreducible cost of that self; that there is always something missing and that this obscured kernel of hollow or empty set and nebulousy indefinable selfhood is actually what that Self is.

This is to say that all that we and our interior (and exterior) worlds actually are is a gesture towards some other and effectively unknowable thing which does not and can never exist, that this introspective vacuum and unprovable truth is precisely what we are: unbounded, uncertain and ambiguous as gestures towards ourselves but never actually completely or successfully capturing and representing that central “I”.

For this reason, among others, no act (or art) of self-definition can ever be final.

There is no perfect selfie because there is no perfect or complete and unproblematically definable Self.

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