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Discovery Series Presents:

Know Thy Selfie: Provocations on Digital Photography and Public Knowledge

by Brian O'Connor


For millennia, painted portraits were the primary method used to record a person’s presence in time.  It was an expensive and time-consuming process that was used as an expression of power that the average person had limited access to.  Nowadays, the majority of people can and do take a photograph at any time with ease.  The concept of ‘selfies’ has been riddled with controversy and ridicule for years, although they have gained near acceptance recently.

Brian O’Connor will dig past the sensationalism into the real world of public knowledge.  Selfies are used as a lens to frame the radical changes occurring in the worlds of production and use of knowledge.  The ease of creation and sharing of selfies means that there is a multitude of data available to wade through and even more conclusion to draw.

What is public vs private knowledge?
 What constitutes publication?
What does authorship entail?

This lecture was hosted at The Agora, in room G150, at Discovery Park (3940 North Elm Street, Denton, TX 76207). It was recorded on Thursday, May 4, 2017, from 12:00—1:30 p.m.

Brian O'Connor taking a selfie

Brian O’Connor began making photographs as a kid in the 1950s. He studied Greek & Latin literature at Dartmouth, holds a master's degree in film from Montclair State, has several years of documentary production experience, and holds a Ph.D. from Berkeley in theory of information retrieval.  Collaborations with close friends and colleagues have yielded publications in several areas dealing with images, representation, and questions.  Brian is a professor in the Department of Information Science and co-founding director of the Visual Thinking Lab.