Disposable photos

Researchers at Pennsylvania State University have made some interesting discoveries about how teenagers use Instagram. Jang et al (2016) investigated the differences between how teenagers and adults use Instagram.

Having grown up with social networking, it would be presumed that teenagers would post far more photographs than the adults. However one of Jang st al’s findings was that, whilst these digital natives like and comment more on others’ images, they actually post less photographs. It isn’t cool to have lots of images clogging up your feed. As well as that, any images that receive few likes are removed. The vast majority of images on teenager’s Instagram accounts are the ones that they hold dearly. These images are statements about looks, emotions and possessions.  

If an image has not been well-received, then it is deleted. Generally speaking, teenagers do not hoard images. They serve a purpose, as a means of communication, and then they are disposed of when they are no longer needed.  

Subsequently, this behaviour has the potential to affect the evolution of photography in two ways. Firstly, if less photographs are being saved, what will happen to this generation’s historical archive? Also, how will photography develop as a meaningful method of communication? After all, emojis and memes are a very common in digital culture.



Jang J. et al. (2016) Teens Engage More with Fewer Photos: Temporal and Comparative Analysis on Behaviors in InstagramAssociation for Computing Machinery: Halifax 



Japanese Stab Binding

Whilst talking through my ideas for Assignment 2, my tutor recommended Japanese stab binding as a way of producing a book for my photographs. This idea really appealed to me, however it was something I had overlooked previously, due to the numerous online tools for creating photo books. It had never occurred to me that I could make my own. 

Online publishers, such as Blurb, make it very convenient and obvious to use them, especially when they have plugins for software such as Adobe Lightroom. However, now that I want to include acetate pages in my book, I will need to make it myself. 

My tutor had suggested Japanese stab binding.  I had never heard of it before. After researching more about it online, I liked the bespoke nature of the finished product. It gave the book a ‘one-off’ feel, rather than one made using an online publisher.  

There are a number of Japanese stab binding video guides, such as the one below. I watched a few of them, to get a good idea of what the method involved.  

After watching the videos, it appears to be quite a simple process. It is something that I want to try for this assignment. 

Exercise 2.1: The artist as curator

For this exercise I needed to create a typology of found images, in which a particular motif appears again and again. At first, I had thought about something link red telephone boxes or black cabs. However, the photographs often contained a lot of irrelevant visual information, which might detract from the main subject. Having found out about Joachim Schmid's method of collecting  and categorising photographs, I tried to think of the modern day equivalent. I found my answer on the Internet.

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Archive Noises

In his chapter, Archive Noises, Joan Fontcuberta (2014) attempts to define the role and purpose of photography in modern society. Since its existence was announced at the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Fine Arts, by scientist and politician, François Arago on the 19th August 1839, Fontcuberta (2014) defines modern photographic practice as a discourse between documentation and experimentation, and between memory and forgetting. In other words, the photograph enables us to capture details which the human eye might miss, and serve as a prompt to recall visual data, which would otherwise be forgotten.  

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