From the “Belfie” to the Death-of-Me: The Affective Archive of the Self/ie
The selfie is the newest and arguably most radical phenomenon in the long-standing tradition of photographic portraiture. Driven by changes in both technological and social contexts, the selfie is central to the ongoing transition from written to image-based communication and has been accompanied by the reconfiguration of identity into a self-curated visual archive. This chapter argues that this is an act of affective curation, re-describing Roland Barthes’s notion of the photographic punctum in terms of the multi-faceted, ambivalent ontology of selfies. With particular attention to sexualised photos and death-by-selfie, the chapter interrogates selfies in relation to the Deleuzian assemblage, the Lacanian gaze and the Freudian death drive in order to understand the role of the self/ie archive in relation to digital identity.
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