Nathan Jurgenson: The Social Photo
To mark the release of his Verso book The Social Photo: On Photography and Social Media, social theorist Nathan Jurgenson is joined by author, curator and lecturer Annebella Pollen to reflect on how smart phones and social media infiltrate nearly every aspect of our social lives.
Our thinking about photography has been slow to catch up with these major fixtures of everyday experience and is still often treated in terms of art or journalism.
The Social Photo develops bold new ways of understanding the transformations these image-making and sharing technologies have ushered in: the selfie, the faux-vintage photo, the self-destructing image, the food photo. Jurgenson shows how these devices and platforms have remade the world and our understanding of ourselves within it.
Nathan Jurgenson is a social media theorist. He is co-founder and Co-Chair of the annual Theorizing the Web conference, founder and Editor-in-Chief of Real Life magazine, Editor Emeritus at New Inquiry, and a sociologist at Snap Inc. His work, which appears in academic journals and popular outlets, centres on a critique of “digital dualism,” a phrase he coined to describe the false belief that the internet is a separate virtual sphere or cyberspace. Instead, Nathan approaches digitality as embodied, material, and real.
Annebella Pollen is an academic at the University of Brighton working across a range of interests in material and visual culture. Her research areas include mass photography and popular image culture, and histories of craft, design and dress. She has developed projects on historical youth cultures and experiments in living, on silhouette portraits, snapshot photographs and picture postcards, and on revivalism and utopianism. Her publications include Mass Photography: Collective Histories of Everyday Life (I. B. Tauris, 2015).
Organised in collaboration with Verso
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