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This is a postprint version of: Hjorth, Larissa, & Lim, Sun Sun. (2012). Mobile intimacy in an age of affective mobile media.
Feminist Media Studies, 12(4), 477-484. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2012.741860
Mobile Intimacy in an Age of Affective Mobile Media
Larissa Hjorth and Sun Sun Lim
KEYWORDS mobile intimacy; mobile media; mobile phones
Introduction: Connecting the mobile with the intimate
With the ‘intimate’ and ‘mobilities’ turns distinctively marking this century’s media
practices, what types of cartographies are being mapped? As both a symbol and set of
practices, mobile media cultures proffer a powerful example of contemporary forms
of intimacy and mobility (Leopoldina Fortunati 2002; Amparo Lasén 2004). Mobility,
like intimacy, means various things to different people and cultures. But in the
intimate and mobility turn it is women who have undoubtedly been most implicated
(Arlie Hochschild 2003, 2001). This is amplified through mobile media practices in
which work and leisure, and public and private distinctions are blurred. In this
erosion, mobile media have played a pivotal role (Judy Wajcman et al. 2009)
especially in what Melissa Gregg aptly calls ‘presence bleed’ (2011). Throughout all
these debates about mobility and intimacy, gendered practices prevail (Hjorth 2011).
And thus, unquestionably, mobile intimacy is a feminist issue. And there is no better
place for exploring feminist issues than Feminist Media Studies.
In this special issue we have sought to investigate ‘mobile intimacy’ as a
probe for understanding tensions around salient and transitory modes of intimacy. By
the ‘mobile’, we are not only referring to technologies, but also the various ways in
which mobilities play out through mobile media practices. Here it is important to
remember that mobility, as a notion, has long been attached to emotion (Lasén 2004).
In the various forms of mobilitypeople, ideas, labor and capitaltechnologies like
mobile phones have often been implicated, if not blamed for issues both underlying
and emergent. This is due, in part, to the role of the mobile phone as a technology of
propinquity (temporal and spatial proximity) as both instrumental in, and symbolic of,
new erosions between public and private, work and leisure (Wajcman et al. 2009).
While the movement of intimacy towards the public was happening long before social
and mobile media (Lauren Berlant 1998), the types of cartographies it takes within
social, mobile and locative media requires explanation and elaboration.
With the growth in social media, Location Based Services (LBS) and Global
Positioning Systems (GPS) as part of the everyday mobile media experience, the
manner in which we imagine and navigate the online in conjunction with physical
spaces has shifted. One way of conceptualizing this straddling between co-present
worlds is identifying the localized and vernacular versions of intimate publics in an
age of mobile intimacy. That is, the ways in which the various forms of mobility
(across technological, geographic, psychological, physical and temporal differences)
and intimacy infuse public and private spaces is spearheaded by the increasing role of
personalization by mobile media to both blur and reinstate boundaries between online
and offline worlds. This has allowed for multiple cartographies of space in which the
geographic and physical space is overlaid with an electronic position and relational
presence, which is emotional and social. This overlaying of the material-geographic
and electronic-social is what can be called mobile intimacy.
A case could be made for the continuity of mobile intimacy as a rubric for
understanding particular epochs. Indeed, an overlay between the mobile and intimate
can take various forms, contexts, platforms and affects. As Timo Kopomaa (2000)
observes, today’s mobile media can be seen as an extension of nineteenth and
twentieth century mobile media such as the wristwatch. Technologies such as mobile
media re-enact earlier co-present practices and interstitials of intimacy: for example,
SMS (Short Message Service) re-enacts nineteenth century letter writing traditions
(Hjorth 2005) and sharing vacation photographs via Facebook are a digital analogy of
the time-honored ‘Wish you were here’ postcard. As Esther Milne (2004) observes,
new forms of telepresence such as email are linked to earlier practices of intimacy
such as visiting cards. In this way, the intimate co-presence enacted by mobile
technologies should be viewed as part of a lineage of technologies of propinquity.
Moreover, modalities of presence—telepresence, being ‘present’, and co-presence
and its relationship to place (and ‘placing’) are changing through the convergent lens
of mobile media (Ingrid Richardson & Rowan Wilken 2012).
However, there are some striking differences too. Mobile media can been
considered as part of shifts in conceptualizing and practicing intimacy as no longer a
‘private’ activity but a pivotal component of public sphere performativity. Intimacy
has taken on new geo-imaginaries, most notably as a kind of ‘publicness’ that is
epitomized by the mobile phone (Fortunati 2002, p. 48). Intimacy has many levels.
Intimacies here not only refer to the kinds of intimacies that exist between lovers,
family members or close friends (though these can and do play a role). Intimacies can
also exist at a social or cultural level. For example, as Michael Herzfeld observes,
cultural intimacy describes the ‘social poetics’ of the nation-state and is ‘the
recognition of those aspects of a cultural identity that are considered a source of
external embarrassment but that nevertheless provide insiders with their assurance of
common sociality’ (1997, p. 3).
In this special issue of Feminist Media Studies we traverse different types of
mobilities and intimaciessome mobilities are chosen, others are forced, while many
involve negotiations between the two. Some are more about immobility and enclaves.
Just as this special issue highlights mobilities and immobilities across various
cultural, social, technological, generational, migration and class cartographies, it also
charts new socio-emotional terrains for intimacy at individual and structural levels.
This special issue of Feminist Media Studies seeks to unpack ‘mobile intimacy’—a
notion that encompasses many issues around emotions, co-presence, diaspora,
personal technologies and emerging forms of affective, social, and emotional labor.
Acknowledging that mobility can take various permutations (technological,
geographic, socio-economic, to name but a few), this special issue explores some of
these mobilities and immobilities.
Some of the themes around gendered mobile media include cross-generational
literacy, diaspora and transnational relationships; socio-economic forms of immobility
and the cultural specificities of intimacies; and mobile media as a tool for
professionalism/ lifestyle and safetythe symbolic dimensions of mobile media in
emergent/imagined gender performativity. In each of the papers there is a grappling
with mobile media in maintaining (and intervening) social, cultural and individual
intimacies that are undergirded by often-conflicting notions of work/life,
private/public. As an evocative term, the various papers in this special issue highlight
the multiple and contested ways in which we might understand ‘mobile intimacy’ as it
traverses various class, cultural, generational and geographic distinctions. By no
means exhaustive, this special issue seeks to create further discussion around this
notion as a way for understanding what some of the many paradoxes mobile media, as
part of contemporary life, represent for women. More than just a ‘wireless leash’?
Through the lens of women’s mobile media practices we can see a diversity of
mobile publics and intimacies that not only highlight how intimacy has always been
mediated but how these existing intimacies are informing, and being formed by, the
growing ubiquity of mobile media.
Mobile Immobilities: Transnational, cross-generational and diasporic media
As Leopoldina Fortunati, Raul Pertierra and Jane Vincent note in Migration, Diaspora
and Information Technology (2012), mobile media play a key role in maintaining
older forms of co-present rituals as they do produce new ways for migrants to cope
with geographic displacement. Far from eroding the importance of place as a lived
and imagined experience, mobile media further reinforce locality (Ito 2002; Hjorth
2005). As Pertierra has noted in the Philippines, mobile media can reflect inner
subjectivities as well as amplifying cultural inequalities (2006). Our first series of
articles address geographic and generational mobility. In Lynn Schofield Clark and
Lynn Sywyj’s ‘Mobile intimacies in the U.S. among refugee and recent immigrant
teens and their parents’ we see how these families appropriate mobile media to
nourish links with their home countries and grow their social networks within their
host country. For these transnational households, parental restrictions on children’s
mobile media use are not resisted but respected in the interest of preserving familial
harmony and fostering intimacy.
Inter-generational dialogues around mobile media are also explored in Kim
Sawchuk and Barbara Crow’s ‘I’m G-Mom on the Phone, where they shed light on
an older demographic, grandparents. As these seniors come to terms with new
communication technologies, their long-ingrained value systems and newfound
technological competencies mesh together to birth fresh perspectives and processes
for communicating and receiving cross-generational intimacy. As Fortunati has so
eloquently argued previously, there is a need to understand the generational
graduations of women’s mobile media (2009). Within the realm of mobile phone
advertising, stereotypes about generational use have prevailed. As Inmaculada J.
Martinez, Juan Miguel Aguado and Iolanda Tortajada note in Managing the
Unbalanced’ there are some curious distinctions to be made between the reality of
mobile media practice and the discourses. Drawing on a series of focus groups and in-
depth interviews that is contrasted to the discourse analysis of a sample of mobile-
related TV ads, Martinez et al. explore some of the paradoxes that emerge around
intimacyespecially in terms of the balance between work and private life and
intergenerational relations.
Mobile Publics: Socio-economic immobility and cultural intimacies
As Anne Galloway notes, mobile publics are more than just networked publics
(2010). Drawing on the ‘mobilities’ turn in social, cultural and mobile communication
studies, Galloway observes how little of the discussion has focused upon mobile
publics. Instead, she argues current literature is limited by perpetually focusing on
how mobile technologies shape, and are shaped by, intersections between private life
and public space (2010: 70). For Galloway, the important work conducted by
Networked Publics (Annenberg Center for Communication), Manuel Castells (2000)
and Jonas Larsen et al. (2006) collapses the political actions of the ‘mobile publics’ as
part of networked publics. Galloway argues that ‘the network model or metaphor is
not well equipped to deal with uncertainty, inconsistency, and instabilityconditions
outlined as integral to the sense of ‘public’ put forth by Lippmann, Bakhtin, Canetti,
Marres, Latour and Warner’ (2010, p. 70). Reflecting upon public and counter-public
debates in relation to case studies of locative media art projects, Galloway considers
how emergent and contingent forms of public are being formed, and informed by,
mobile media. As Galloway suggests these ‘messy’ and ‘fluid’ assemblages of mobile
publics are more than just networked. As a politically powerful rubric, Galloway
argues that more research needs to be conducted into localized forms of mobile
publics. These mobile publics are constituted by various immobilities and specificities
across subjectivities, class and cultural divides.
In this next section of our special issue, we have four papers exploring some
of the mobilities and immobilities around class and cultural distinctions. Intimacy is
not just an experience at the level of the individualthere are also multiple cultural
forces at play. Here we see how mobile media can amplify inner subjectivities while
reflecting broader social inequalities (Pertierra 2006) and cultural conceptions of
womanhood and technology (Sun Sun Lim & Carol Soon 2010). Just as mobile media
can provide answers for empowerment for some, its paradoxical ‘wireless leash’ can
also create other forms of exploitation. In Michelle Rodino Colocino’s ‘Post-Welfare
Mothers in Wi-Fi Zones: Dreams of (Im)mobile Privatization in a Neo-Post World’
we are provided with a case study of a failed wireless project that sought to provide
single mothers with technological infrastructure to work from home. What the study
illustrated, especially in its failings, was the disconnect between policies and
advocates and the reality for the subjects.
From a failed technological project focusing on class, we move to Jo Tacchi,
Kathi R. Kitner and Kate Crawford’s study of ‘Meaningful Mobility’ in India.
Development discourse around new media, often encapsulated by ICT4D debate,
have long grappled with issues of designing and implementing relevant technologies
in the hope of providing developing countries with a way out of their struggle.
However, just as Rodino Colocino’s study illustrated, Tacchi et al. highlight that such
vertically imposed models of technology neglect to account for how important
existing cultural practices are. Technologies shape, as much as they are shaped by,
cultural, class, generational and gender nuances. In Tacchi’s et al. paper we are
provide a rich ethnographic study of mobile phone use by rural women in India.
Through the rubric of ‘meaningful mobilities’ they discuss the attachments, structures
of labor, and agency informing technological practice as part of ‘the multilayered
nature of everyday lives and contextualize the role of mobiles’.
From a qualitative comparison within the generations in an Indian rural
context we next move onto an ambitious quantitative cross-cultural study of women
and their relationship to mobile media in Europe. In Leopoldina Fortunati and Sakari
Taipale’s ‘Women’s emotions towards the mobile phone’ they investigate whether
women’s emotions towards the mobile phone differ subject to the cultural and
familial context. Drawing from James A. Russell’s circumplex model of affect
consisting of four main emotional dimensionsexcitement, distress, depression and
contentment, Fortunati and Taipale survey women in Italy, France, the UK, Germany
and Spain and note that it is women living in blended families who seem to associate
more distress and less feelings of contentment with the mobile phone than their
counterparts in other family types. We then move to Amparo Lasén and Elena
Casado’s ‘Mobile telephony and the remediation of couple intimacy’ in which they
explore the role of mobile media in enabling different forms of intimacy, especially
conflict, among couples. Drawing on a case study of heterosexual couples in Spain,
Lasén and Casado explore how ‘mobile phones mediate and remediate conflicts,
support different strategies, create opportunities for arguing and making up, and are a
player in the game of designing and defending personal and collective territories’.
From the changing nature of coupled heterosexual intimacies in Spain we transition to
our next subtheme that explores the growing ‘presence bleed’ between work and life
for women.
The Work of Intimate Co-Presence: Professionalism and Lifestyle
With the ‘intimate’ turn impacting upon various facets of cultural practice and
politics, notions like emotion are no longer defined individually or psychologically
but as an integral part of social life (Sara Ahmed 2004). For Ahmed, emotions are ‘the
flesh of time’ that get attributed to objects and people in ways that are ‘sticky’—that
is, full of affective value (2004). As Eva Illouz argues in Cold Intimacies: The
Making of Emotional Capitalism, rather than capitalism creating boundaries between
public and private, emotion and rationality, it fosters an intensely emotional culture
that blurs workplace, family, and relationships (2007). Drawing on the growing
examples of celebrity and self-help discourses that entwine public and private
spheres, Illouz explores the dual insidious process of blurring the emotional with the
economic in what she calls ‘emotional capitalism’. For Gregg, the role of social and
mobile media has helped foster a presence bleed between public and private, work
and life, economic and emotional spaces (2011). Increasingly, intimacy and emotion
are fuelling many capitalist discourses of the public.
For Judy Wajcman et al., the association with ‘affective or emotional work is
part of the unequally distributed gender division of labor’ (2009, p. 14). In ‘Intimate
Connections: The Impact of the Mobile Phone on Work Life Boundaries’ (2009),
Wajcman notes the mobile phone ‘characterizes modern times and life in the fast
lane’ and has become iconic of ‘work-life balance’—or lack thereofin
contemporary life (2009, p. 9). Wajcman et al. observes that manipulating ‘the
boundary between work and life was one of the principal ways that many people
controlled their time’ (2009, p. 10). These boundaries of time and space are
determined, in part, by ‘debates about work/life boundaries’ that are imbued by
traditional gendered divides ‘between the separate spheres for market work (male)
and domestic work (female)’ wrought by industrialization (2009, p. 10). However,
Wajcman et al. observe, ‘there is no reason why the mobile phone should be seen as a
gendered artefact, as it does not carry the masculine connotations of, for example,
computers that are still identified with hacker culture’ (2009, p. 14).
Despite the fact that there is ‘no reason’ for gender divisions around
technology to persist, they do. And this persistence of inequalities is addressed in our
next sub-section of papers the changing relationship between work/life and the role of
mobile media is explored. Traversing across new tropes of professionalism and
lifestyle, the rise of mobile media has created just as much work as it has helped to
eradicate. But how much of mobile media helps and how much of it hinders
professional women who have to balance work with family? In Catherine Middleton
and Rachel Crowe’s Women, Smartphones and the Workplace: Pragmatic Realities
and Performative Identities, they explore how professional women strategically
deploy the Blackberry to maintain their professional presence, while erecting
boundaries that insulate their personal lives from excessive intrusions. Here we see
attempts to reinstate public and private, work and personal life spaces despite the
presence bleed of the devices.
We then move to a case study of Portuguese women by Carla Ganito in which
she considers the role mobile media plays in time management. Deploying data from
in-depth interviews with Portuguese women, Ganito argues whether we can frame the
tensions about work/life amplified by mobile media in terms of ‘gendered time’.
Unpacking the label of ‘multitasking’ often given to women (as if they have any
choice), Ganito considers how such claims fit into broader discussion about ICTs
blurring of time and space and creating new forms of engagement or what Gregg calls
‘presence bleed’ (2011).
From Ganito’s exploration of mobile media time we move to Julie Frizzo and
Peter Chow-White’s discussion of the prolific rise of applications for smartphones.
Entitled ‘There’s an App for that’, their paper explores the growing role of
smartphone apps in ‘mediating’ (and perhaps colonializing) ‘Mobile Moms’ and
‘Connected Careerists’. Taking the notion of ‘Networked Individualism’ explored by
Castells and Wellman, Frizzo-Barker and Chow-White argue that smartphone apps
‘simultaneously empowering and constraining for women’s experiences and identities
due to their potential to blur the boundaries between public and private spheres’.
Having considered at length women’s experiences and enactment of intimacy in a
relational context, we conclude the special issue by ruminating on the sense of
intimacy underlying the socio-technical relationship between women and their mobile
devices. Entitled Mobile Phones or Pepper Spray?: Imagined Mobile intimacy as a
weapon of self-defense for women, Kathleen M. Cumiskey and Kendra Brewster
explore how the mobile phone is simultaneously empowering for its potential for
women’s self-defense, yet debilitating for the sense of dependency it may engender,
while reproducing stereotypical gender roles and behavior associated with women.
Labors of love: mobile intimacy and labor
Mobility, as a notion, has long been attached to emotion (Lasén 2004). As this special
issue identifies, in the various forms of mobility (people, ideas, labor and capital) it is
undoubtedly women who are implicated the most. Unquestionably, the role of the
mobile phone as a technology of propinquity (temporal and spatial proximity) is both
instrumental in, and symbolic of, the transnational flows of gendered modes of labor
and consumption. As Fortunati notes elsewhere, since the mobile phone is one of the
most intimate items in everyday life, it reflects particular gendered performativities
and intimacies (2002). Indeed, Fortunati clearly identities the way in which practices
of intimacy are gendereda fact that is augmented by the mobile phone and its role
to reproduce gendered forms of social labor. For Fortunati,
… the mobile phone might be considered as a work tool for reproduction. That
is, a tool that supports and facilitates almost all the aspects of immaterial
reproductive labour, which are increasingly complex and exponential in
influence… the mobile phone has become also a strategic tool of social labour.
(Fortunati 2009, p. 31).
In this special issue of Feminist Media Studies we explore the multiple and contested
ways in which we might understand mobile intimacy and its impact upon the lives of
women across the world. As both a series of practices and a symbol, mobile media is
both amplifying and reflecting the changing fabric of women’s lives across various
terrains: social, class, generational, and cultural to name a few. While not exhaustive,
this selection of papers seeks to provide a diversity of experiences, labors, affects and
performativities surrounding women’s intimate relationship to, and through, mobile
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Larissa Hjorth is an artist, digital ethnographer and Associate Professor in the
Games Programs, School of Media & Communication, RMIT University. Since
2000, Hjorth has been researching and publishing on gendered use of mobile,
social and gaming communities in the AsiaPacificthese studies are outlined
in her two books, Mobile Media in the Asia-Pacific (London: Routledge, 2009)
and Games & Gaming (London: Berg, 2010). Hjorth has co-edited three
Routledge anthologies, Gaming Cultures and Place in the AsiaPacific region
(with Dean Chan, 2009), Mobile Technologies: from Telecommunication to
Media (with Gerard Goggin, 2009) and Studying the iPhone: Cultural
Technologies, Mobile Communication, and the iPhone (with Jean Burgess and
Ingrid Richardson, 2012). Email:
Sun Sun Lim is Associate Professor and Deputy Head at the Department of
Communications and New Media, National University of Singapore. She
studies the social implications of technology domestication by young people
and families in Asia, charting the ethnographies of their Internet and mobile
phone use. Recent work has focused on the communication practices of
understudied populations such as migrant women and juvenile delinquents and
youths-at-risk. Her work has been published in flagship international journals
including the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, Journal of
Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Computers in Human Behavior, New
Media & Society, Communications of the ACM and Asian Journal of
Communication. Email:
... Furthermore, digital media ethnographers have studied how people adapt media similar to switching on and off the lights to make for morning and evening moods at home (Pink & Leder Mackley, 2013), or use smartphones as digital companions (Carolus et al., 2019) or network structuring devices (Burchell, 2015) from the moment they wake up. The broader context is that the smartphone is an intimate technology (Hjorth & Lim, 2012) and a key tool for self-tracking through the flows of daily life (Lomborg et al., 2018). ...
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In Australia, WeChat Official Accounts is known as a hub for the production and distribution of affective news, or sensationalized content, among Chinese migrants. This article aims to address: Who/What is responsible for this form of content production on WeChat? Who are the people (re)producing news information for WeChat Official Accounts in Australia? How and why do they engage with such activities for Australia-based WeChat Official Accounts? And how do they shed light on our digital culture, economy, and platform labor? To address the questions, from 2019 to 2022, I conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with Chinese-Australian media professionals at both managerial and staff levels as well as conducted a longitudinal ethnographic observation with more than 200 Australia-based WeChat Official Accounts that translate news stories for the Chinese diaspora. The article argues that in Australia affective news on WeChat is the news story that conveys emotional resonance to Chinese migrant readers; it is predominantly produced by Chinese female little editors who work as affective labor. The employment of affective labor, that is, Chinese female international students or postgraduates, has led to the concentration of precarity, exploitation, and alienation among the groups of Chinese female little editors who are vulnerably exposed to the double exclusion coming from both neoliberalism in Australia’s dominant society and patriarchal normativity embedded in the Chinese migrant economy. The research findings shed light on the intensifying social inequality based on one’s race, ethnicity, gender, and social class that has been imposed and further normalized by digital technologies.
Through integrating the research featured in this issue, this article describes generative areas for future research and the means to advance the impact of our field. Reflective practices related to field building and knowledge access for which Rich Ling helped to lay the groundwork are highlighted. Ling’s work in mobile media and telecommunications has influenced the theoretical, methodological, and empirical opportunities for mobile communication research. Four themes for future mobile communication research have emerged: social, seamless, just, and open. These themes align with the work featured in this issue and with Ling’s promotion of practices that enhance our field to develop relevancy, integrity, and ecological validity. This article places special focus on global and social justice as leading to a better understanding of mobile communication in the world.
This essay makes a case for more critical inquiry in mobile media research around the privilege of taken for grantedness. As a critical supplement to Richard Ling’s important work on the taken for granted dispersion and embedment of technologies such as the mobile phone or automobile into everyday life, we examine the precarity that such reliance involves. Taking certain media for granted makes other, more invisible vulnerabilities harder to see and acknowledge. We make this case using the example of TikTok, a short-form mobile streaming app that has rapidly become a go-to social media platform worldwide—as well as a massively “visible” infrastructure due to its associated geopolitical tensions and security concerns. In light of recent conversations about banning the platform, TikTok offers an instructive case study for the privilege of taken for grantedness and the deceptively precarious nature of our mobile media practices.
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This article considers the extent that new forms of communication technologies developed in the last half century have contributed to new forms of sexual and romantic relationships flourishing among early adults in the United States. This project pays particular attention to the implications of that during the 2020 pandemic lockdowns and the increased dependency on technology that followed. This empirical work uses the theoretical framework provided by the scholarship of George Ritzer (2004), which focuses on the social narratives that drive labor into increasingly rational and functionalist operations, which he terms McDonaldization. This project uses interview data collected from college students to explore attitudes and social forms related to casual sex and the development of serious romantic relationships among participants. In an analysis of the data, three key trends have emerged that can be understood within Ritzer’s theoretical frame. Research participants utilize and value technologies within their intimate relationships as information filters that provide efficiency in creating relationships. They also demonstrate the use of technological, organizational, and connective tools as means to control relationships. Finally, technological tools and symbols signal a kind of semi-standardized symbol of commitment to the relationship, though the meaning of these signs is still contested.
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DOI 10.24917/20837275.9.4.6W artykule analizowane są sposoby reprezentacji miejskiego krajobrazu w fotografii. Stawiam tezę, że chociaż przestrzeń zasadniczo jest nieruchoma, to można mówić o postrzeżeniu jej jako ruchomej w czasie oraz środkami fotografii można podzielić się z innymi doświadczeniem mobilności. Tekst składa się z pięciu części: z wprowadzenia, w którym analizuję znaczenia terminu „mobilny pejzaż”, oraz z czterech interpretacji, zainspirowanych fotografiami reprezentatywnymi dla przemian zachodzących w obszarze fotograficznego medium. Są to kolejno: widoki miast Charlesa Marville’a i Karola Beyera, fotomontaże Edwarda Steichena i Harry’ego Callahana, fotografie mobilne (portal, oraz projekt oparty na aplikacji mobilnych (Amsterdam REALTIME). Proponowane tu refleksje nie dostarczą wyczerpującej wiedzy o mobilnym pejzażu miasta, lecz, mam nadzieję, mogą stać się początkiem takiej analizy.Mobile landscapes. City in motion or motion in a city?An article is an analysis of modes of representation of urban landscape in photography. I state that though a city space formally is still we perceive it as movable in time. We can also share the mobile experience with others. The article is parted into five sections: the introduction reflects briefly on the meaning of the term „mobile landscape” and four short interpretations inspired by four photographs, representative for shifts in history of photography are presented in subsequent parts. These are: city views by Charles Marville and by Polish photographer Karol Beyer, photomontages by Edward Steichen and by Harry Callahan, mobile photography by Polish group „mobilni” and finally – a project based on mobile app (Amsterdam REALTIME). Brief reflection proposed in the article is not a comprehensive survey on mobile landscape, but rather – can suggest a direction of such study.
This article explores how contemporary feminism has become increasingly platformized, focusing on how Scandinavian feminist opinion leaders negotiate Instagram as an integral part of their everyday lives. Drawing on 3 years of digital observations and interviews with activists with over 12,000 followers each, the article investigates the meeting between Instagram’s script and feminist users who might not utilize the technology in line with the platform’s intentions. The analysis takes cues from domestication studies and underlines the morality and materiality involved in the appropriation of technology, pointing at the tensions arising when doing feminism and making culture is intertwined through the everyday use of social media platforms. Building on recent scholarship on the platformization of culture, the article offers novel contributions into how platformization affects non-profit countercultural projects.
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The mobile ontology of locative media and ubiquity of location-aware technologies have led to an explicit focus on “where” and an implicit focus on “when” in geomedia studies. While welcoming this focus, we argue that this spatial bias has led the temporal dimensions of geomedia to be overlooked. Despite the growing interest that draws academic attention to mediation of time and temporal dimensions of media and data practices, there is still limited discussion on time and temporality of geomedia. We aim to fill this gap and open a debate about the temporality of geomedia based on seven oral history interviews that we conducted with mobile media scholars who pioneered in research in mobile phones from late 1990s onwards. These historical accounts include the narratives of how mobile phones were used for time-keeping, synchronizing, presencing, and coordinating everyday life. Hence, this article grounds mediation of time in the histories of geomedia.
Machine derived contents note: Contents -- Chapter 1: The Rise of Homo Sentimentalis -- Chapter 2: Suffering, Emotional Fields and Emotional Capital -- Chapter 3: Romantic Webs.
Despite increasing research, design and artistic efforts toward supporting a multitude of publics with wireless technologies, insufficient critical attention has been given to how 'public' is being defined and used. By looking to select historical and philosophical understandings of publics and politics, this essay focuses on those publics which are fragmented and contingent but still very much capable of judgment and action. After discussing how multiple publics and privates tend to gel and dissolve over time and space, the author explores metaphors of flow rather than networked relations. Ultimately, it is suggested that fluid or mobile publics are particularly well-suited to intervene in the contemporary politics of everyday life, and especially in those issues that cannot be adequately handled by more traditional means. Rather than assuming there is some pre-existing public that can be improved by pre-existing technologies, the author advocates an approach in which publics and mobile technologies are co-created around common issues. Using a sample of issues-based art and design projects, the essay closes with an exploration of how such publics can be convened around shared concerns or complex issues—and what that might mean for future research, art and design of mobile technologies and for our participation in mobile politics.
The spread of mobile communication, most obtrusively as cell phones but increasingly in other wireless devices, is affecting people's lives and relationships to a previously unthought-of extent. Mobile phones, which are fast becoming ubiquitous, affect either directly or indirectly every aspect of our personal and professional lives. They have transformed social practices and changed the way we do business, yet surprisingly little serious academic work has been done on them. This 2002 book, with contributions from the foremost researchers in the field, studies the impact of the mobile phone on contemporary society from a social scientific perspective. Providing a comprehensive overview of mobile phones and social interaction, it comprises an introduction covering the key issues, a series of unique national studies and a final section examining specific issues.
Mobile messaging, including short-messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), is an asynchronous mobile phone service that is too often deemed as a tool for entertainment and consumption at the micro individual level. This paper, however, examines the more structural aspects of mobile messaging being socially, economically, and politically shaped as a means of control. It first establishes conceptual connections between existing mobile communication studies and the historical tendency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) to be used for surveillance and authoritarian power projects. This discussion is substantiated by a brief global overview of related incidents occurring in Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Hong Kong, all in 2005. The paper then focuses on mobile messaging and social control in China, where a massive IT industrial complex has emerged since 2000 to serve the control needs of the power elite, especially with regard to SMS. There is both macro institutional formations at the national and transnational levels and more specific organizational developments, such as in the workplace for purposes of labor control or at the interface between broadcast stations and audiences in order to reduce the political risk of phone-in programs. The overall argument is that, the political function of mobile