Every morning, I photographed my face as soon as I woke up. It was a purposeful, self-imposed ritual where I got one shot to document my state of being at that moment. It’s an act that ignores any personal notions of vanity especially as I posted each and every photo to the web.

The repetition of my face day after day is my personal record of a simple life activity. Similar to selfie takers all over the world, I am documenting a moment in time with a ubiquitous form of photography. I am discomforted by the act of the selfie, especially when it reinforces outdated standards of beauty. I am drawn to the work by feminist artists of the 1970s who questioned gender stereotypes. A moving and inspiring piece is Eleanor Antin’s Carving: A Traditional Sculpture, where she lost 10 pounds of her own body weight over 37 days and photographed the process scientifically as she lost the weight, making a cultural and societal critique of the pressures women face to be thin and attractive. The Awake series is my way of contributing to this conversation which 40 years later has not lost relevance. This action towards self-discovery allows me to move away from self-judgement and my personal assumptions about how I look best, or how I look at my worst. I invite my audience, my voyeurs, into a banal and unidealized life, into my private moments.

Christina gave a TED talk about the Awake project in 2014. Watch the video to learn more about Awake, and view photos from the event by clicking on the “Awake @ TED” image below.

The Awake series was started in July 2012 and ended in early 2016. Occasionally Christina will post a recent Awake photo on Instagram.
Click here to see the project website with all 900+ Awake photos
Click here to follow Christina on Instagram


Awake at TED











Selected Images from the Awake Project