The Body and Its Thumbnails: The Work of the Image in Mobile-imaging

The Body and Its Thumbnails: The Work of the Image in Mobile-imaging

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This dissertation pursues a biotheoretical inquiry into the body, mobile-imaging and biopolitics. Deploying the thumbnail---the image materialized and mobilized via camera phones (and similar devices) but also the outgrowth of the thumb---it considers life (bio-) in terms of its being the site and subject of the visual-cultural practice of mobile-imaging, a system of vitalities (physiological processes and informatic coding simultaneously), and the medium through which regulatory processes of management and control exert their force. Ultimately, it asserts that the thumbnail, in being the material remains of the living body, is the vehicle by which life as such is counted (made calculable), taken into account (bio-graphed) and accounted for (regulated). (In this regard, I am interested in the analogy between metadata and genetic code---both information borne by thumbnails.) But also, the thumbnail provides a particularly appropriate means for interrogating relations between the body and new media technologies. In this regard, the dissertation draws upon the upon the feminist-materialist philosophies of Elizabeth Grosz and Karen Barad in order to move beyond notions of prosthetic extension and the cyborg. In doing so, it argues that we need to think (about) the body as a body-in-relation. This means understanding the body as an ongoing and living articulation, across various linkages and transactions, which are kinetic, physiological, as well as virtual and which are mobilized through the body's engagement with technology. In particular, the dissertation focuses on the innervating relation between the hand and device in mobile-imaging (for example, multimedia-messaging with mobile screenic devices such as camera phones); and it addresses the specificities (of form, content, movement) of the streams of images produced. Essentially, the dissertation pursues questions concerning the nature of visuality, the function and possibility of self-record, and the ways in which power operates in relation to both of these.246 For example, in MMS mode, the Motorola SLVR produces thumbnail images with resolution of 160X120 pixels (or, approximately 11a„2 in. X 1in.). the size of a thumb-naila€– (emphasis mine). I assert this 127 Chapter 3: The Bio-Logics ofanbsp;...

Title:The Body and Its Thumbnails: The Work of the Image in Mobile-imaging
Author:Heidi Rae Cooley
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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