The word person comes from the Latin word persona, which denoted the mask worn by a player or actor. It follows that being a person somehow involves presentation, acting, even pretense. And yet, contemporary social media exert pressures on us to close the gap between the presentation of one’s self and one’s authentic being. The masks we wear must somehow be transparent or match the face beneath. Conversely, the mask must somehow conform to social expectations and fulfill the desires, fantasies, and projections of those around us (Instagram is a good example, as is wearing a suit to a job interview). We are all caught in this conundrum.
In the spirit of these ambiguities and dichotomies, many of the assignments for this class are open-ended in the sense that there are no resolved and definitive answers. Students will be asked to be creative and show initiative in completing these assignments. Much of the work for this course is about process, not product.