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Bēhance

N A R C I S S A M I N O P H E N

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  • M i n a Z a r f s a z . Narcissaminophen . 2012 . Mirror and gelatin capsules
     
    Mirror pill, a commentary on conversational narcissism due to emerging technologies and how it has affected our relations in everyday life:
     
    The computer has infiltrated so many domains of human activity and the way we look at ourselves and our relationships with others. Enjoying a good conversation is becoming more of a rarity these days. In our time of smart phones, text messaging, and e-mails, face-to-face interactions are less common, thus when we do meet face to face, our social skills are out of practice.
     
    In The Pursuit of Attention, sociologist Charles Derber argues that in a time where many of the old social supports people relied upon have disappeared (due to emerging technologies), people have become starved for attention. They bring this hunger to their conversations, which they see as competitions in which the winner is able to keep the attention on themselves as much as possible. This is called Conversational Narcissism.
     
    The Greek myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with a fact of human experience, as the word Narcissus indicates. It is from the Greek word narcosis, or numbness. The young Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions. He was numb. He had adapted to his extension of himself and had become a closed system.
     
    Physiologically there are abundant reasons for an extension of ourselves in a state of numbness. All extensions of ourselves are attempts to maintain equilibrium. The young Narcissus’ image is a self-amputation; self amputation forbids self recognition. In Understanding Media, Marshall McLuhan observes that any invention or technology is an extension or self-amputation of our physical bodies and such extensions also demand new equilibriums. These pills are an invention that aid in achieving that equilibrium.