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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Gazing into the Black Mirror: How the Experience of Emplaced Visuality Through Smartphones Fundamentally Changes Both the Self and the Place
by Newlin, Alexa Brooke , M.A., The American University of Paris (France), 2016, 85; 27605889
Abstract (Summary)

As digital engagement floods our everyday experience, our perspective and relationship with digital images are changing our sense of what it means to move within and occupy spaces and places. Thanks to the exponential growth of social media, smartphones, and other digital devices, digital technology is shifting away from functioning as an applied tool and racing headstrong into operating as a lived, experiential culture. Consumption rates of digital imagery have accelerated; it has awakened our imaginations by redefining our sense of time and offers alternative possibilities beyond our immediate, physical realities. In essence, there is a realignment of the self, smartphone and place where the device functions as a handheld mirror refracting content with unexpected effects and possible consequences. Digital devices situate the user in the center of the experience while functioning as a prosthetic in order to advance the individualistic point of view. Images taken from individual points of view become magnified objects while simultaneously sacrificing content, thus redirecting the viewer to alternative meanings. An outcome of this ‘image as object’ reveals ways in which users brand themselves creating self-valorization by engaging with the network through check-ins, tags and filters; these actions illuminate a shift suggesting being present at a location now holds more value than the location itself. The illusionary line between the self, smartphone and place suggests an emergence of emplaced visuality and copresence. My work seeks to reveal the overlays of digital picture taking (and making) within physical places while exposing the impacts on both the person and the place.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Talcott, Charles
Commitee: Doyle, Waddick
School: The American University of Paris (France)
School Location: France
Source: MAI 81/3(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Information Technology, Communication, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Digital imagery, Visual cultures, Mobility, Selfie, Place making, Place communications
Publication Number: 27605889
ISBN: 9781088346501
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