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The Virtual Self
December 8 - March 4, 2012

Raw Materials proudly presents The Virtual Self, a photographic exhibition drawn from a class taught by Jean Robison at the Roski School of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California. The pieces featured, by Roski student Matilde Hoffman, dwell on the ever-blurring line between the real and artificial self in the online context. Hoffman’s large color photographs of a youthful, unidentified figure caught in the beam of a projected Facebook page depict the performative nature of social media. Clearly influenced by her neuroscience background, Hoffman’s second body of work in this showing explores the cyborg self and toys with our willingness to believe in technology. Ideas in Intermedia: The Virtual Self: Web Portraits, Personas and Narratives, a lecture/discussion course taught by artist and educator Jean Robison, explored the presentation and broadcast of the self via art and on the web. The class investigated self-portraits, personal chronicling and performance in art to uncover how work made before the net age resonates with contemporary outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube and Second Life. Matilde Hoffman was born and raised in Rome, Italy, and moved to New Jersey in 2003 to attend high school. She came to Los Angeles to study at the University of Southern California in 2007 and graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience, and a minor in Digital Media-Based Imaging. Hoffman has worked in analog and digital photography, video, and performance, and is constantly bridging her interest in science with her love for the arts. Although Hoffman has just applied to medical school, she will continue to make art.