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Selfiecity: Exploring Photography and Self-Fashioning in Social Media

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Abstract

User-generated visual media such as images and video shared on Instagram, YouTube and Flickr open up fascinating opportunities for the study of digital visual culture and thinking about the postdigital. Since 2012, the research lab led by Lev Manovich (Software Studies Initiative, softwarestudies.com) has used computational and data visualization methods to analyse large numbers of Instagram photos. In our first project, Phototrails (phototrails.net), we analysed and visualized 2.3 million Instagram photos shared by hundreds of thousands of people in 13 global cities. Given that everybody is using the same Instagram app, with the same set of filters and image-correction controls, and even the same image square size, and that users can learn from each other what kinds of subjects get most attention, how much variance between the cities do we find? Are networked apps such as Instagram creating a new universal visual language that erases local specificities?

Keywords

  • Social Medium
  • Head Tilt
  • Global City
  • Oxford Dictionary
  • Iconic Gesture

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© 2015 Alise Tifentale and Lev Manovich

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Tifentale, A., Manovich, L. (2015). Selfiecity: Exploring Photography and Self-Fashioning in Social Media. In: Berry, D.M., Dieter, M. (eds) Postdigital Aesthetics. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137437204_9

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