Portraiture has seen an evolution over the past couple years. Once reserved for a pair of people, at the very least, to work together to create a single piece, portraiture no longer requires to be set up entirely by another person. Self-portraits, or selfies, have seen a rise with the younger generation. The simple muse has now become the great artist meaning we each now have complete and total power in our portraits, if we choose the selfie route. The power dynamic in portraiture has switched and forever changed.
But how does self-portraiture and sousveillance even relate? Power dynamics. Surveillance is the veillance of the authority (i.e. the veillance that has the capacity to prohibit other veillances), whereas sousveillance is the veillance of plurality (i.e. "crowd veillance" or watching, sensing, or the like, done by non authorities). Simply put, sousveillance is defined as the watchful vigilance from underneath. Surveillance has an ingrained power dynamic attached to it by default. You are being watched by a far away observer that you yourself cannot directly observe. Sousveillance is a switch in this power dynamic.
I am tackling issues that are contemporary and relatable to the present populace by focusing on Sousveillance and Selfies. By taking Sousveillance Selfies, I intend to utilize the equipment being put forth by establishments and turn it around for my own benefit. Intrusion on my personal space by an establishment does not seem to have many immediate benefits to myself. Sousveillance Selfies on the other hand allows me to at the very least gain a quick self-portrait in return for the intrusion and take some of this power back.
The goal of Sousveillance Selfies is to document my activity of switching the power dynamic on the institution in a contemporary manner.