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Smartphones and Open, Collaborative Image Making


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A presentation given at the Art + Design Symposium, Dunedin School of Art 16-17 Oct. 2015: The audio file for this presentation can be found on Soundcloud: A blog post that puts the slides and audio together with can be found here:

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Smartphones and Open, Collaborative Image Making

  1. 1. Smartphones and open, collaborative image making Art + Design Symposium Dunedin School of Art, 16-17 October 2015 Dr Mark McGuire Design, Dept. of Applied Sciences, University of Otago email: Twitter: Blog: Instagram:
  2. 2. Collaboration (Shared goals) Models of Open Art/Design Practices Cooperation (Shared Interest) Crowdsourcing (Gathering) Dissemination (Spreading)
  3. 3. > The production of film cameras essentially ended in 2006. > Sales of DSLR cameras declining since 2010. > Digital cameras are not connected and lack the apps that enable sharing. > Apple, Samsung and other top smart phone makers are “not just trying to edge out stand-alone cameras; they’re trying to destroy them and own their space”. (Arthur, 13 April, 2015)
  4. 4. The Best Camera Is The One That's With You: iPhone Photography by Chase Jarvis (2009) “Inherently, we all know that an image isn’t measured by its resolution, dynamic range, or anything technical. It’s measured by the simple—sometimes profound, other times absurd or humorous or whimsical—effect that it can have on us.” The iPhone has “given us the opportunity […] to capture moments and share them with our friends, families, loved ones, or the world at the press of a button. It’s the moment. The little snippet of life unfolding in front of your lens.”
  5. 5. Accessed 4 Oct. 2015
  6. 6. > Smart phones were able to capture images as good as the best $2,000 DSLR cameras from about six years earlier. > Faster processing could ameliorate the limitations of the smart phone cameras resulting from their small lens and image sensor. > Sales of phones with cameras 13 x sales of dedicated cameras. > More money is likely to be invested in improving the technology of increasingly popular smart phones than cameras. (Dean Holland, 2 Jan., 2014) versus-film Accessed 1 Oct. 2015
  7. 7. Technical, social and economic developments in the Internet age have enabled an “aesthetic movement of collaborism” and a democratisation of design. — Gerritzen and Lovink Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media (2010), p. 24
  8. 8. “[L]ike literacy after the printing press, design is becoming too important to leave to a cloistered few. For design to become more relevant in a world like this, we must find ways of expanding design practice to amateurs and to communal practice.” — Clay Shirky Gerritzen and Lovink, Everyone is a Designer in the Age of Social Media (2010), p. 24
  9. 9. Open design is developing out of a culture of sharing and reciprocity in which designers and end users connect directly, without the need for intermediate organizations, retailers, publishers or marketers. Powerful digital tools, expert advice and high quality work are now freely available online. Anyone to participate in online conversations, activities and spaces, regardless of professional title or status. — Open Design Now: Why design cannot remain exclusive (2011). edited by Bas van Abel et al.
  10. 10. Instagram > Launched in 2010, sold to Facebook in April 2012 for US $1 billion (Yahoo! paid US $35 M for Flickr in 2005). > Mobile photo & video (15 sec.) sharing app (sends to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr) > Hashtags added Jan. 2011, 15 sec. videos supported from June 2013 (competing with Twitter’s Vine), Direct added in Dec. 2013 (competing with Snapchat), non-square images supported from Aug. 2015 > 400 million users, 75% outside the US. (Sept. 2015) 4 Oct. 2015
  11. 11. Joanna Zylinska > We have all become “distributors, archivists and curators of the light traces immobilised on photo-sensitive surfaces”. > Low cost digital storage and digital networks have “changed the very ontology of the photographic medium.” > Photographs now “function less as individual objects or as media content to be looked at and more as data flows to be dipped or cut into occasionally”. (Joanna Zylinska, 2015) Photomediations: An Open Book
  12. 12. Accessed 4 Oct. 2015
  13. 13. Accessed 4 Oct. 2015
  14. 14. over-mobile-phones.html By Hannah Furness 12 Aug. 2014
  15. 15. “Instagram is fast becoming a key platform for advertising art.” 28 Aug. 2014
  16. 16. Dunedin School of Art Accessed 13 Oct. 2015
  17. 17. #MobilePhotoNow (Feb 6 - March 22, 2015) > Largest mobile photography exhibition organized by a museum > 45,000 images via Instagram by 5,000 photographers, 89 countries > Exhibition featured > 320 images, 240 photographers 40 countries. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  18. 18. “To submit images, participants had to use the hashtag #mobilephotonowcma in addition to the themed #JJ hashtag. There were four themes spaced out over four weeks announced on the #JJ community feed: #jj_cma_street, #jj_cma_portrait, #jj_cma_community and #jj_cma_blackandwhite. Mr. Kuster and Josh Johnson sifted through some 45,000 and narrowed it to 650.” From Smartphones to Museum Walls, New York Times, Feb. 10 2014
  19. 19. Adam Elkins (had a portrait included in #MobilePhotoNow.) > Columbus barista, 27-year-old amateur photographer. > Hosts real-life “InstaMeet” gatherings to connect with users. > His iPhone’s worldview is global. > “It’s wild; I post a photo now, and I get 100 ‘likes’ within a few minutes” Museum exhibit focuses on pervasiveness of mobile photography. Columbus Dispatch, 5 Oct. 2015
  20. 20. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  21. 21. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  22. 22. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  23. 23. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  24. 24. 1 Oct. 2015
  25. 25. Patricia Lay-Dorsey documents her life with Multiple Sclerosis 12 Oct. 2015
  26. 26. Patricia Lay-Dorsey documents her life with Multiple Sclerosis 12 Oct. 2015
  27. 27. 25 Sept. 2015
  28. 28. “#candyminimal is a movement in mobile photography known as candy-colored minimalism, which I started in 2014. To date, Instagrammers have tagged over 80,000 photos with #candyminimal.” — Matt Crump 24 Sept. 2015 > Capture a simple composition against a clear background > Crop, leaving plenty of negative space
 > Filter: adjust hue, brightness, and saturation (Diptic for iOS), layer and experiment with filters (PicTapGo, VSCOcam, etc.)
  29. 29. 24 Sept. 2015
  30. 30. 12 Oct. 2015
  31. 31. 12 Oct. 2015
  32. 32. 12 Oct. 2015
  33. 33. 24 Sept. 2015
  34. 34. 23 Sept. 2015
  35. 35. 12 Oct. 2015
  36. 36. 12 Oct. 2015
  37. 37. 2 Oct. 2015
  38. 38. 2 Oct. 2015
  39. 39. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  40. 40. Accessed 5 Oct. 2015
  41. 41. “These are the photos from the 2015 Edition of the #24HourProject which are part of the exhibit in Caracas Venezuela. Thanks to all the participants who shared their city story one photo per hour during 24 hours. Curated by Renzo Grande” Accessed 5 Oct. 2015 #24hr15
  42. 42. “So, every hour, images filtered in from 650 cities around the world, including pictures documenting Albuquerque nightlife and the early morning hustle of a Hong Kong fish market as well as a father and daughter sitting together as they sell flowers on a Tehran street. “We wanted to see the differences throughout the world, but also the blending and mixing of ethnicities within a single city,” said Smotherman, a developmental disabilities social worker. “Street photography highlights [human nature] by capturing the unplanned but not unnoticed.” Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2015 project-2015-20150325-story.html Accessed 4 Oct. 2015 #24hr15
  43. 43. Conclusions > It’s not the wood (resource, artefact), it’s the singing around the camp fire (social). > People value designed experiences that blend the best of online and offline. > Develop open strategies that integrate collaboration (in groups), cooperation (over networks) + crowdsourcing & dissemination.