Gli echi dell’icona. La moltiplicazione visuale del sé e i suoi modelli invisibili

Nicola Martellozzo


Digital anthropology has demonstrated that the externalization of the Self is a cultural technique for the construction of digital identities, in which the statement of the Self is realized through a steady multiplication. Self-images should not be considered according to their status of reality (truth vs. fiction) but to the effects of reality they produce, linked to the construction, reproduction and migration of images on the web. Considering the performative dimension of images, it is possible to highlight an irreducible surplus of meaning, particularly in the self-representations proposed in (and by) social media, where the image becomes an icon. We choose this term because of its high semantic value and its ambivalence between its different meanings in the religious, communicative and IT contexts. Instead of creating ambiguity, this intersection of perspectives makes the concept of ‘icon’ capable of describing a complex reality such as the digital image. To investigate the icon’s effects of reality, we focus on an additional historical phenomenon, which is fundamental for the status of the image in the West.

Parole chiave

Instagram; digital-scape; iconoclasm; visual imaginaries; ranking algorithm

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