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Visual Studies Group - Rik Smit: "From Visuality to Visibility: Social Media Archives and Visual Memory Work"

When:Th 25-10-2018 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Room 1315.0043, Harmonie Complex
Visual Studies Group
Rik Smit:  From Visuality to Visibility: Social Media Archives and Visual Memory Work  

25 October 2018, 16-18h

The contemporary media ecology is teeming with visuals, ranging from video streams, GIFs, memes, photos, Instas, and Snaps. As in a natural ecology, these visuals compete among each other. The things they are competing for are visibility and our attention. A paradox thus seems to underlie the visual media ecology: even though there are more visuals then ever, more visuals are invisible than visible. In other words, only a few visuals ‘fit’ a media ecology that is today, to large extent, driven by the mechanisms and logics of social media.

The goal of this talk is to present ongoing research that traces which representations survive, or gain visibility and our attention. The talk does so by scrutinizing how social media users and technology mutually engage in ‘visual memory work’: the transfer and reconstruction of visual knowledge and experience of the past into the present and future.