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This tag is associated with 10 posts

Above & Beyond Time and Distance

Can we locate punctum in a live performance? Above&Beyond, a UK trance trio, bet the cathartic climax of their concert tour on it. This post considers how the act inventively deploys the meme form to incite an emotional response in the context of performance. But first – Roland Barthes’ punctum refers to the element of … 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 Me You Wanna Match: Automediality, Anonymity, & Authenticity on Tinder

Tinder is an algorithm-based mobile dating application designed to match users based on the notion of first impressions. Drawing on key concepts from Smith and Watson’s “Virtually Me”, some of the behaviors of Tinder users can be examined. Tinder’s audience consists of singles that use mobile phones and Facebook (the two requirements for making an … 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

Filters as Connotation: Barthes and Faux-Vintage

Roland Barthes discusses the myth of the natural sign and its relation to photographs; his text “Rhetoric of the Image” examines exactly the manner in which meaning is able to manifest in the image. However, where Barthes mounts an analysis of an advertisement consisting of images and text, I will examine the trend of imposing … Continue reading

Why Publishing Nude Pictures of Yourself Might Not Have the Effect You Intend

Perhaps, if you have heard of “revenge porn,” you have also heard of Emma Holten, a Danish woman who had nude pictures of herself sold to a website by an ex-boyfriend when she was seventeen. Last September she released an article for Friktion magazine about her fight against a system intent on shaming women for … Continue reading

Photographer as salvage archaeologist: A reflection on Susan Sontag and Edward Curtis

Working on separate projects during the early 1900s, Edward Curtis and Adam Vroman both took thousands of photographic images of Indigenous groups in the United States. Edward Curtis did so with the explicit intention of documenting a “vanishing race” of people for preservation in American archives. One New York Times reviewer reflects on this project … Continue reading

Self(ie)-Control: Social Mediation of the Self–A Response

In 1997, Rugg notes that “it does sometimes occur that individuals make photographs of themselves” (3). The occasional occurrence of what is now referred to as a selfie was duly noted in this text: a minor counterargument briefly mentioned.  But in 2015, millions of photos are tagged as “selfies” on social media. We have moved … Continue reading

Response: Smith and Watson and #selfie in South Korea

Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson’s characteristics of the “autobiographical subject” can be applied to the use of selfies in photo sharing apps such as Instagram to construct a narrative bound in cultural beauty standards. Recent news has stated that 70.14% or 35,000,000 people of the South Korean population owns a smartphone. The country, prideful of … Continue reading

Surrealism as a Secret for Success

Given the striking correspondence in language between Amanda Fortini’s analysis of Kim Kardashian’s success (posted on Papermag.com) and the remarks Susan Sontag offers in On Photography regarding the inherent surrealism of photography, I want to consider whether the latter might refine the former. Per Fortini, Kardashian in person “seems amplified, tumescent”, her features made uncanny by … Continue reading

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