Circa

Is it possible to represent national identity through images?

A country is a portion of land occupied by a nation. A nation is a group of people sharing the same language, the same history, the same aim, as having awareness of a commune heritage. Considering past, present and future of a specific land, the identities are complex systems always on the move: dense space both of intern relations/variations and extern interactions/exchanges.

Images could be the way and the tool to build the experiment, taking advantage of the proper visual capability to observe and measure, creating meaningful patterns in visualizing big quantity of data, and, on the other side, exploiting the narrative suggestion of single and unique frames.

The digital could be the place where to look for identity: a set of data, informations, memory, behaviors, generative, without imposed hierarchies and shaped spontaneously by the practice of the medium itself. The experiment produces, with digital methods, a cartography made by images, about the Mediterranean Sea, describing from different points of view, by different methods of visualization, the theme of representing identity.
The narration looks at all the nations on the Mediterranean Sea, as they are asking to each other: “How do I look at myself ?” “How do you look at me?” “How do I look at the others?” Reflecting on self-perception, on mutual relations on the boundaries, about dialogues and exchanges, considering linguistic specificities of each land.
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The images have been collected searching for the name of the nations in all the Google.images local domains, in the language of each nation. The image collection has been done between the 27th of October 2011 and the 21th of November 2011, the timing is essential for the contents analysis, considering collective memory but also current news, daily peculiarity, in a sample of different moments, seasons, contractions and expansions of time, as it was at the moment of the research.
The sampled images have been analyzed and organized by different criteria, from the more structural (hue, saturation, brightness) to the more conceptual ones (type of images, contents, subjects) and they were reacted into a series of visual experiments, developing diagrams showing commonplaces and cliché or lost and unknown things,
glimpsing and recognizing familiar landscapes, visited landscapes, imagined landscapes.