Mobile media, participation culture and the digital vernacular: & the democratization of documentary

Vickers, Richard (2012) Mobile media, participation culture and the digital vernacular: & the democratization of documentary. In: MINA - Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa Symposium, 23-25 November , 2012, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Presentation)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper discusses the convergence of media technologies, participation culture and the new vernacular of mobile device photography. The pervasive and ubiquitous nature of the camera phone and smart device signify the final stage in the process of the democratization of photography that began over 100 years ago when Eastman Kodak released the first truly consumer oriented camera, the box Brownie. The low cost of the Brownie combined with it ease of use made photography a viable practice for the general public at large. The Brownie gave birth to the snapshot and vernacular photography, those captured moments in time of the everyday. The beginning of the 20th century was a significant moment in history, never before had such a large number of people had access to a camera or the opportunity to document their lives and surroundings. The early 21st century signals another paradigmatic moment, the majority of the population in the modern world now have access to a camera via their mobile device, and importantly they have it with them at all times, wherever they are. The trope of the camera phone as an exemplary everyday form of image capture carries important cultural implications, especially when it is joined up with a narrative and rhetoric of technologies fit for use for all, a certain demotic turn in photography. (Goggin, 2006). Photography has evolved from being an analogue print-oriented practice to a pixel based, screen oriented, networked experience. We are experiencing a new vernacular photography both still and video, that is unprecedented.

Keywords:mobile media, participation culture, digital vernacular, mobile devices, photography
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P310 Media Production
W Creative Arts and Design > W280 Interactive and Electronic Design
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:6667
Deposited On:31 Oct 2012 17:54

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