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sophiapelka

MA Experiment Digital Media @uwaterloo. Sandwich eater. Into visual n audio semiotics n hard thinks.
sophiapelka has written 6 posts for Rhetoric of the Digital Image

My Selfie Practice: Self-Knowledge Production and Agency

Over the course of this term, we have debunked the popularized myth that selfies are shallow cultural artifacts. Domestic photography, snapshots, and #selfies of all genres have dynamic semiotic functions and play a major role in “backyard ethnographies” and (re)claiming agency. Borrowing methodology from Smith and Watson’s Reading Autobiography: A Guide for Interpreting Life Narratives … Continue reading

Susan Sontag’s The Heroism of Vision

In The Heroism of Vision, Susan Sontag outlines some of the problematic tensions that have historically existed in the photographer’s aim to capture the world on a series of “cultural and class and scientific safaris” (89). The hero (or photographer)’s quest on these safaris is unattainable and leads to a number of ethical issues. The … 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

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

Barthes’ Punctum and the Blind Field

On the nature of the studium: In his subjective examination of multiple photographs, Barthes describes the duality created by the “co-presence” of the studium and the punctum. The studium is coded, and can be understood as the rhetorical meaning of the photograph. On the nature of the punctum The punctum is a sudden ‘prick’ when … Continue reading

Re-membering Ourselves Through Photography

In the introduction to her book, Picturing Ourselves: Photography and Autobiography, Linda Rugg outlines the complexities of textual and visual signification within the autobiographical genre. Both photographic and textual autobiographical artifacts complicate the position of the author, and disrupt the subject/object binary. Photographic and textual autobiography transforms the author from subject into both subject and … Continue reading

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