An IAS Fellowship Seminar by Professor Katrin Tiidenberg (Tallinn University)
Image courtesy of iStock
The global society as well as the internet have been described as increasingly, intensively, perhaps even overwhelmingly or ubiquitously visual by scholars. While the visual web is a fairly recent phenomenon, we, humans, have been using (self-representational) visuals to stake claims, make points, contemplate gods and our place in the world for the past 39 000 years. Visuals have always helped us make memories, create and maintain relationships, tell stories, persuade and manipulate. Visual social media content does all of that as well, but its socio-technical affordances allow visuals to be used as social and political currency, for impression management and various types of interaction. Yet, social media visuals are often dismissed as trivial even by media scholars, leading to a long-term textual bias in internet research. This talk offers a brief genealogy of the emergence of the visual web, addresses why visual social media matters, explores some recent trends in visual social media practices and cultures and finishes with a speculative glance into the future.
Places are limited and so any academic colleagues or students interested in attending in person should register a place here.