:a second self or different version of oneself
:the part of someone's personality that is not usually seen by other people.
‘We are constantly living in a world with self-commodifying pressures, from Social Media sites where we package ourselves, to the practice of resumé creation or networks like LinkedIn that ask us to serve up cohesive and linear narratives of our functional time spent on earth. The radical idea that we are living in a constant ebb and flow or that ‘self’ might be an illusion altogether goes against the mechanics of our age where individualism has become the primary interface for interaction — and where homo economicus (the rational, utility-maximizing agent) pre-supposes an atomized ‘I’ for engaging in our economic systems…
Against this backdrop, alter egos are a minor insurgency to the systems that freeze us in rituals of routine. Alter egos are a transgressive space for expressive subjectivity to emerge and breakthrough the packaging we’ve created for ourselves. Alter egos are a bridge between the self we are and all the possibilities of who we might be. The fun of alter egos is that you get to un-brand or re-mix yourself…
In stepping into alternative personas, we try to break the ties of a stagnating self to explore new forms of expression. The challenge is that as others gain encyclopedic knowledge of our character, our own self-knowledge can come to be defined by another’s gaze. To break the mirrors that others hold to us we may travel, we may abruptly break off ties, we may withhold ourselves (retreating inwards), or we may squirm, struggling to assert our freedom in passive aggressive outbursts. Of course, there are also far more mature solutions for reclaiming personhood, but sometimes our growth requires us to act the saboteur, to break the Kantian matrix of reality, to change the rules….
How does the concept of the alter ego challenge your idea of authenticity?
Do you believe you have an unshakeable self? An un-moveable core?
What parts of yourself are you bored by?
How do you know when you’ve outgrown your alter ego — when to kill off your alter ego?’
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