My current postgraduate research focuses on how programmed nostalgia (retro/vintage pre-sets) within mobile phone photography provides memory illusions that facilitate the construction of our sense of self. I suggest that a “new aesthetic” nostalgia presents visual and social cues that allow us to construct and rapidly re-construct memory illusions of our sense of self.
In one sense this is nothing all that new. Amateur photography has long provided the means for memory and self-representation built off social and cultural interconnections and activities within domestic life. Susan Sontag wrote in, On Photography, that “amateur photography has brought with it the emergence of a new visual code, which has forever augmented the Western world’s idea of realism, memory and identity of both the viewer and the photographer”.
Mobile phone photography continues with this heritage bringing with it specific mediated affordances that justify reopening and contributing to the already rich body of research on this subject. Through our devices, mobile phone photography not only becomes part of what creates our autobiographical memories, but a mediated tool that caters to our basic psychological requirement for identity construction and transformation.
This is what I will explore, the how and the why mobile photography does this. This new blog will comprise of my journey through my research. I will use writing in this blog to help clarify my ideas and observations, because of this, it may be full of conjecture and whimsy much more than the content of my academic papers.