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Kim Kardashian’s Virtual Self

In a recent profile, Paper Magazine writes that “social media has created a new kind of fame and Kim Kardashian is its paragon.” Dubbed by Paper as the “High Priestess of Instagram,” Kardashian celebrated 27 million followers yesterday with a selfie of her butt. She now has the highest number of followers on the site … Continue reading

Everyday Digital Rhetoric: A Response

The term “digital storytelling” is often used to describe the mediation of personal stories online (Smith and Watson 71), which is particularly apt when it comes to the carefully curated versions of self seen in social media.  Any user of social media has, sometimes subtly and sometimes obviously, altered his or her self on social … Continue reading

Response: Social Media and Moderation of Digital Images

Smith and Watson’s Virtually Me expands their pre-existing work on autobiography, into digital spaces which they state is, “categorically different from what is understood as traditional life writing” (70). Part of what we have been talking up to this point in the class is how digital photographs are presented online and how different types of … Continue reading

Summary of “Virtually Me”

In “Virtually Me”, Smith and Watson build upon concepts from their book to provide a toolbox that attends to the way users create themselves online. The authors define the self as a marker of reflexivity, both online and offline. The self is constructed by the user, and represents the user – but it is not … Continue reading

A sensory approach to “reading” photographs

In “Thinking photography beyond the visual?”, Elizabeth Edwards, a visual and historical anthropologist, draws attention to the multi-sensory and intersensory nature of photographic interactions in an effort to “extend our understanding of photography beyond the visual” (31); or to develop a theory of photography that reconciles orality and tactility with traditions of communication through images … Continue reading

Summary of Shove: Breaking Down Digital Photography

Shove et al. in 2007 conducted a study with nine one-to-one interviews of amateur photographers, a local camera club, a focus group and workshop. Before diving into the analysis, they outlined three elements of photography: practitioners, participation and material. They also differentiated “early photography”, “popular photography”, “digital photography”, giving a brief history of “early photography … Continue reading

Response: Awkward Family Photos & The Change of Family Photography Practices

Having read Gillian Rose’s research on “How Digital Technologies Do Family Snaps, Only Better” and a cross look at the archive of Awkward family photos, and reflecting on albums on Facebook, I noticed some changes in the “integrated practices” (72) of Family photography. Looking at Awkward family photos, these are taken from the past and … Continue reading

Awkward Family Photos (and why they’re awkward)

While trying to summarize Awkward Family Photos is not the easiest task, what I have come up with will hopefully allow some insight into why this website is so popular. Photographs posted on Awkward Family Photos tend to fall into three categories of what makes them awkward: a) The first category I will call “expired … Continue reading

Gillian Rose and Family Photography as Practice

Critics devoted to the study of family photography have privileged the materiality of this phenomenon. Approaches have largely examined the printed materials themselves, preferring a semiological close reading of noteworthy images (69). Rose notes an oversight in the scholarship on photography, and insists that family photographs cannot be defined simply by their visual content (74). … Continue reading

Summary of “Digital Cameras and Domestic Photography”

In “Digital cameras and domestic photography: communication, agency and structure” Cobley and Haeffner expand the debate on the nature of communication in digital domestic photography. Seeing the rise of digital as inevitable, and rather than accepting the status of a digital democracy as inherently utopian, they deem it a “potential”, “as part of quotidian attempts to … Continue reading

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