From Jenna Garrett's series, "The Public Profile of An American Girl"

Facebook selfies as depiction of the American girl

Jenna Garrett waded through countless Facebook self-portraits, or “selfies,” for a new exhibit that examines the concept of the online identity.

As part of the Aperture Summer Open project, Garrett’s series, “The Public Profile of An American Girl” comprises nearly 5,000 public images of young women posted to the social-media website.

“It’s very important to me that the work be viewed as an installation—there is something really visceral about seeing 500 images of people licking one another. So much of what we do online feels intangible—people post photos, share their entires lives and say so many things without so much as a thought. Making images online a physical thing (public images that anyone could stumble upon and see) changes the dynamic entirely,” she tells Cool Hunting.

Garrett’s series is part of a larger body of work, titled “The Public Profile Project.” In one of its pieces, “Pretty/Ugly,” she creates a disturbing mosaic of YouTube videos from a recent phenomenon in which teenage girl invited viewers to weigh in on her looks.