Transient Self-Portrait : The Data-Self

Mencia, Maria [Artist] (2016) Transient Self-Portrait : The Data-Self. (Website).


YOU ARE PART OF THIS POEM, AS YOU READ THE POEM, THIS POEM READS YOU, IT SPEAKS TO YOU, IT NEEDS TO BE CARESSED, IT NEEDS LIGHT, YOU NEED TO SPEAK TO IT, YOU ARE ITS INK, ITS COLOUR, ITS SURFACE, PLAY WITH IT. Transient Self-Portrait is an interactive piece based on two pivotal sonnets from Spanish literature, Soneto 23: ‘En tanto que de rosa y azucena’ (1522) by Garcilaso de La Vega and Mientras por competir con tu cabello by Luís de Gongora (1582). It consists of three stages: the first one based on Garcilaso’s sonnet, makes reference to the passing of time; the second one connected to Gongora’s notion of the unavoidable death, makes the text disintegrate into the final stage where the portrait becomes programming data, and alludes to the transient nature of the digital/data-self. The participant is invited to explore the work to reveal a fluid portrait -grabbed by the webcam- encapsulated inside the screen, as a medium of textual, generative and sound surfaces. Text and sound are activated by mouse-over actions in stage one, the voice of the reader - by reading aloud - triggers the text in stage two, and mouse click and drag helps to manipulate the image and activate the sound in the third stage. The piece questions many of the notions just highlighted in the essay; the experience of reading; the use of digital grammars (interacting and engaging with the work); while exploring concepts evoked in the sonnets through coding for interactive aesthetics and poetics.

Item Type: Moving Image/Broadcast
Locations and Dates of Event:
LocationFrom DateTo Date
Digital Research in the Humanities and Arts (DRHA), Conference University of Greenwich, London, U.K.31 August 201423 September 2014
Language and the Interface, International Conference on Digital Literary Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal14 May 201515 May 2015
Plataformas de la Imaginacion, Escenarios de la Literatura Electronica, Universum-Museo de Las Ciencias de la UNAM, Mexico9 October 20156 December 2015
Additional Information: Research Chapter 'Transient Self-Portrait: The Data Self' (pp. 189-209) in M.Mencia (ed) #WomenTechLit. Found here : and introduction - (2017) #WomenTechLit. In: Mencia, Maria, (ed.) #WomenTechLit. Morgantown, U.S. : West Virginia University Press pp. Xiii-XX. found at
Research Area: Art and design
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Kingston School of Art
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 17:04
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2020 08:33

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