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Summary: “Play, Process and Materiality in Japanese Purikura Photography”

Purikura (short for purinto kurabu) = print club Koguru = stylish urban Japanese high-school girls Kawaii = cute Purikura is a “widespread phenomenon in contemporary Japan” referring to passport-style photo booths that print out photos in the form of stickers (109). In Mette Sandbye’s “Play, Process and Materiality in Japanese Purikura Photography” from Digital Snaps, … Continue reading

Mediating Distance Instantly–Telecommunication (Villi Summary)

In Villi’s 2014 chapter Distance as the New Punctum, he points out the influence of digital networks, highlighting the new meaning of time and distance. He brings us back to Barthes’ “punctum” and extends his theory by suggesting distance as the new punctum. (48) Villi notes Barthes work Rhetoric of the Image which I will … Continue reading

Summary: Kara Walker’s, “A Subtlety”

Kara Walker’s art installation, A Subtlety includes several dramatic figures alluding to African American involvement in the sugar trade constructed from white sugar and molasses. The most prominent piece of the installation is a large Mammy Sphinx featuring prominent breasts and buttocks all made out of white sugar. Other figures include children made of molasses … Continue reading

Summary of Oksman’s “Mourning the Family Album”

Tahneer Oksman opens her article with a brief discussion about photos taken during one’s youth, arguing that youth is the earliest period in life where one is self-reflexive; as a result, this is the first time in life we can recognize photos of ourselves as idealized versions of those selves. Oksman then moves on to summarize … Continue reading

Smith and Watson: Everyday Uses of Autobiography

In the introduction to Getting a Life: Everyday Uses of Autobiography, Smith and Watson offer an approach to studying autobiographical narrative in a way that includes the everyday story. They state, “…we move in and out of autobiographical subjectivity, sometimes by our own desire and purposes, sometimes through the exertions and coercions of others” (Smith … Continue reading

Summary: Primary Sources in Subjectivity

Multiple primary sources explore the portrayals of subjectivity in photography. For the purposes of this course, four primary sources were examined in depth. Each approaches subjectivity from a different angle. #iftheygunnedmedown is a tweet campaign which emerged following the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police. When news of the killing first broke on … Continue reading

The (Im)mobile Life of Digital Tourist Photographs: Summary

In ‘The (Im)mobile Life of Digital Photographs: the Case of Tourist Photography”, Jonas Larsen examines how digital cameras and digital methods of dissemination have radically altered photo-tourism. One of the central changes affected by this technologically motivated increase in speed is the photographer’s connection to his or her photographs. Unlike the delayed gratification offered by the development … Continue reading

Mourning Your Past Self

Awkward Years Project is a website on which people post photographs of their younger selves looking certain ways which at some point in their lives embarrassed them. Posting on this site, I argue, is not just for the entertainment benefit of others (as on, say, Awkward Family Photos), but also functions as a means of re-writing … Continue reading

Pinterest and the construction of self through senses other than the visual

Engaging with photos involves more than just one of our five senses. In addition to just looking at a photo, we might hold it, turn a grouping of photos into a collage, and chat about pictures with friends.  As is evident from these examples, and as Elizabeth Edwards argues in “Thinking Photography Beyond the Visual?”, … Continue reading

The Ecology of Viewing Digital Images

In Thinking photography beyond the visual?, Elizabeth Edwards argues that the role of photographs goes beyond that of the image object. She describes a sensory approach to understanding photographs that emphasizes the impact that the material culture has on the complex ecology of social interaction. She says, “…there is a cultural desire for the material … Continue reading