Posts Tagged ‘internet’
Last Friday, it took two phone calls and thirty minutes for me to cancel the landline I had with Bell Canada for the past decade. I had not used the line in months, I even tossed away the old broken telephone at the beginning of this billing cycle, and there was no reason for me not to opt for an Internet-only package with Bell. I have my cell phone on a different provider, and Skype if I want to phone from my apartment. What else do I need?
[T]he selfie has become a standard in documentation, even when it almost certainly should not be (see: #funeralselfie) Over one million are uploaded to Instagram every day, with this latest bout of backlash offering but further proof that– love them or loathe them – selfies are everywhere.
It’s a statement that could just as easily apply to Kim Kardashian West – the woman most frequently credited with the rise of selfie culture, and (not unrelatedly) the fall of civilization. Earlier this week, a 21-year-old app developer named James Shamsi introduced #KardBlock, an online browser extension that blocks any and all mentions of the planet’s most polarizing family. The timing couldn’t be better or, at least more pointed, since this week also saw the release of Selfish, Kim Kardashian West’s 400-page photographic homage to her favourite art form. She has been doing the publicity rounds– instructing Jimmy Kimmel on how to take the perfect selfie on his late night talk show, discussing daughter North West’s early aptitude for selfie snapping at the Variety Power of Women luncheon (where she was honoured alongside Lena Dunham and Whoopi Goldberg), and participating in a three-way rear-off with Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez at Monday night’s Met festivities.
Photos of Kardashian West’s original 2013 Met Gala appearances are among the 479 selfies included in Selfish, which is being positioned as a coffee-table book (since “bathroom book” has yet to gain official recognition in the publishing world). The snaps are organized chronologically, starting in 2006 with a few photos of Kardashian West and her former-employer-turned-launch-pad Paris Hilton. Other noted selfie co-stars include Madonna, Donatella Versace, Ellen DeGeneres, J. Lo, Serena Williams, various permutations of Kardashians/Jenners, Kanye, baby North and many, many skimpy swimsuits. Bikini selfies, confides Kardashian West “are my favourite” (she says the same thing about mirror selfies and selfies in cars). Presumably for easy viewing, the most X-rated snaps are contained in a black page section. These, Kardashian West tells us, are the photos she takes “for [her] husband,” making what is probably an unintentionally weighty comment on the perversion of privacy in the Internet era. (Other commentary is less consequential: “Fresh spray tan. I get so dark…Kanye calls it a Yé-tan.”)
It would be incredibly easy to dismiss Selfish as an idiotic, insignificant and grossly indulgent monument to contemporary narcissism, which is all true – except for the insignificant part. Setting aside the fact that a creating a hardcover book of Instagram photos is sort of a cheeky and subversive concept to begin with, Selfish speaks to a new era of both self and celebrity obsession overwrought. Does that make it art? It’s a question one feels compelled to consider, flipping through hundreds of pages of … brilliant personal branding? Shameless self-promotion? Accidental pop art?
When Andy Warhol’s soup cans were first shown at the Ferus Gallery in 1962, many people wrote the collection off as stupid (the paintings barely sold and most critics turned up their noses). Today the same commonplace cans of Consommé and Chicken Noodle are recognized as significant markers in the debate about the nature of art, and – just go with me here – it’s possible that, in time, Kim Kardashian West (her selfies, her self) might be seen as part of the same ongoing arbitration.