Accepted Paper:

Romanticizing and transforming the urban space through visual social networks: representations of the city scape in Instagram   


Eugenia Kuznetsova (Deusto University)

Paper short abstract:

The proposed paper deals with visual social networking and representations of cityscape. The central question is when a regular social networking activity develops into a work of art.

Paper long abstract:

Visual expression became accessible to everyone who has got a smartphone. People convey their own visions of reality with the help of casual mobile photography and the capability to share these visions with thousands of other people makes photography the primarily social activity. This phenomenon is researched using the example of city space representations in the Instagram. Instagram social network is a perfect illustration of how the shots of everyday life acquire the artistic value, how cityscape is being perceived by ordinary people and what aesthetics has urban space in modern world. Navigating the hashtags of Instagram I investigate how users from different parts of the world see the urban environment and how they transform their phone photos with the help of popular filters and effects into a piece of art that represents the interaction of the urban dweller with the city, dramatizing and romanticizing the urban space.

Panel P26
Anthropology of social networking: growing visuality of digital cultures and meanings conveyed by SNS images