Sunday, March 9, 2014

Weaving a Selfie

What in the world is a "selfie"?

I have always been a fan of self portraits, after all the subject is agreeable and within reach. There has been some recent discussion about weaving a "selfie" and with extra warp on the loom I took up the challenge. The drawing was very fast and much of the design choice happened on the loom. I liked the result and have had good feedback.
Selfie, 5 x 7 inches

I'm not sure I can call it a selfie though.
I recently read Jeff Lundberg's column on the subject, "Narcissistic or Not, 'Selfie' is Nunberg's Word of the Year", in hopes I could understand how that word is really used. After reading I still wasn't sure I had an answer.

I thought back to 1970 when I majored in photography in college and did a quick review of its history:
- Daguerrotype, takes forever, heads were clamped, had to be wealthy
- Eastman Kodak, Brownie camera, you take the picture we do the rest
- Polaroid, see the picture right away
- Digital, take a bunch, use the ones you want
- Smartphone, my phone is a camera
All provided the ablity to see you, the nature of the image changing as the technology changed.

Next I turned to my daughter in law. "You must be aware of the word "selfie", what's your take on that? Here's what I took away from that conversation:
- Selfie IS social media
- Selfie is about choosing the right pose
- Selfie is about having your phone (that's the camera now) always on hand

So there you have it, my research on the topic. The question remains, can a tapestry weaver take the word 'selfie' and use it to describe a piece they have woven?

What do you think?


  1. I wonder what:
    Van Gogh
    Frida Kahlo
    etc., etc... they all did selfies, with paint, charcoal, etc.. or are they called self portraits, NOT selfies?

    Wikipedia says:

    A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. Selfies are often associated with social networking.


  2. Seems to me a selfie is just a shortening of self portrait, If you take a picture of yourself and then weave it I guess it becomes a self portrait so yes a selfie.

  3. Actually the one thing I've taken away from my research is that its not a diminutive for self portrait, nor a retro-word that can be assigned to historical works. I go back to the input from my daughter in law, social media folks.

    1. Ah, so a selfie is a photo of oneself taken for use as social media only. That does not sound like a tapestry, that would be my Facebook profile icon.

    2. Actually Janette, I've been thinking that I might design the next tapestry to "talk" about the concept of selfie, thereby eliminating getting all bound up in word usage:))

    3. It is your piece. You get to call it whatever you like. And what you made certainly looks like a selfie 😊

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