Synthetic selves are many things simultaneously: magnified fragments of the self, multiple expressions of me, your fantasies about me, my fantasies about me, copies of successful others, my business cards, our performances, a facade, my second skin, my deepest longings, my escape, archives of ourselves, collective data feeds, etc. Synthetic selves are carefully constructed, flexible, fake and honest at the same time, skewed images and twisted timelines. They are restricted by the protocols of social platforms, held captive by corporations, broadcasted by algorithms, part human part machine, chemical but mortal. We don’t think of them as a threat, just as a part of ourselves that we need to understand.
After the first issue on cyber sensuality we wanted to investigate the construction, invention, and reinvention that is made possible by online platforms and whether it has any consequences in real life, but also what kind of agency we actually have in all this process (whether online or offline). It’s a very relevant topic simply because we are in the midst of it, living it every day both personally and professionally.