watch it! on the web: Portraits

WATCH IT! is building on a series of image-questioning workshops, organized since 1994 by visual artist Eva Saro - in cooperation with museums, schools and companies in Europe and Brazil. The idea of the workshops is to train visual awareness through a series of practices aimed at developing image-reading basics, for example using a creative manipulation of images.

This website is a pilot project aimed at creating an "image-reading site" for the world-wide web that is based on the watch it! approach. It incorporates a first set of digital visual practices developed by Eva Saro in collaboration with art & design students in Helsinki. The website, designed by UIAH Media Lab, contains an image bank of portraits and commentaries, demos of image-reading practices and a record of some results: images transformed by the participants in the Helsinki workshop, organized at Nykyaika stage, Lasipalatsi Media Centre, March 21-25, 2000.

The theme of the Helsinki workshop and this website is Portraits, identity-building and values. The focus is on images of men, women, children; couples, families, groups... While portraits are easily related to and form a majority of media images around us, questioning their relation to our identity-building is essential. One aim of the Watch it! workshops is to engage in questioning the values embedded in these representations.

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