24 Aug 2014

New Mask

So. After many, many months of sticking to the same profile picture, I've broken a years-long tradition of using variations of the Facebook default anonymous silhouette.

Some of you may be observant enough to notice it. It's this... odd... symbol... thing. Which makes even less sense now, it seems.

What gives? Did I just put some weird placeholder doodle to stall for time for a new silhouette variant? Is it a teaser for some pretentious art project? Am I going to abandon my name for that symbol, like the man who was formerly Prince?

None of the above. It's actually a little less exciting than any of those.

As you might already know, I did talk a while back about why I even use the silhouette variations in the first place. And I did say that eventually I'll detach myself from what's technically intellectual online property of Facebook, and forge my own new avatar picture someday. That's how long I've been mulling over what to use to replace the silhouette.

I did consider about just using an original silhouette, perhaps one based on my actual appearance. But the more I thought about it, the more it felt... off. I mean, whoever visits my profile pretty much already knows I'm a person who browses the Internet. I don't really feel the need to reinforce that now. So I figured that perhaps I should go with something that was a little more meaningful, but still personal.

I knew somewhere in my mind, it would probably a glyph of some kind. A symbol representative of who I feel I am, detached from my physical person.

And so I made a skeleton key.

An odd-looking key at that, but one that is personal. There is logic in the shape, albeit a simple one. If you study it carefully, you might discover the meaning behind the key's shape.

So why a skeleton key?

For one, I tend to be fascinated with the idea of collaboration and world-colliding. I like to see what happens when two or more communities - the more radically different the better - and watch the fruits of their combined efforts. After all, creativity occurs when the most unusual connections between ideas are made. So I'd like to be a kind of facilitator for that. I like to subtly draw out bridges, and open new doors to fresh possibilities. Then watch the traffic flow freely, and wait for the magic to happen.

Another thing is that I like the idea of going past boundaries, and chancing upon new discoveries. I like to be a part of that - bypassing barriers to get into the domains that few have ever set foot in. There's where the untouched gems lie in waiting, where new knowledge resides and new paths are carved.

A third concept is the idea of opening my own doors to get to where I want. I can't sit around waiting for rewards to drop from the sky all the time. But the road to my destinations are full of locked doors. Some require a little more budging, some require a certain ingenuity to clear through. I want to make sure I'm prepared to open as many doors as I can with ease.

(Also I might have been a wee bit influenced by Woodkid with his dual keys motif)

So there. Out with the silhouettes, in with the skeleton keys. Now I don't have to worry about IP rights violation, and I have an original thing to work with now.

Yes, I mean there will be skeleton key variations.