This week my colleague Dr Eve Forrest has been participating at the Helsinki Photomedia conference in Finland. Today Eve is presenting our co-authored paper Between exhibition and contemplation: considering everyday routines on Blipfoto in a session entitled “Non-professional photography: practices and power”.
In the presentation Eve reports on the study of the practice of Blipfoto users that we undertook last month. The analysis of focus group and interview data raises some interesting questions about participation in this online community, and our presentation refers to a number of contrasting perspectives that we identified from the data. We highlight how Blipfoto can simultaneously be considered both a private and public space, where users may choose to be anonymous or open, presenting their photographs primarily for themselves or for others. Although ostensibly for pictures, our research findings tell us that the Blipfoto site is also very much about words. The theme of time also emerged from the data. We discovered that by interacting with the site on a daily basis, users capture today with an eye on tomorrow. On occasion questions of life and death made their way into the conversations with the research participants, revealing how this theme of time can be actively linked to the lifetime of Blipfoto users. In the latter part of the presentation Eve considers the question of routine as related to Blipfoto use. First we have been able to draw some conclusions on how Blipfoto both disrupts and builds routine in the everyday (off-line) life. Second we have learnt how users develop their own routines when interacting with the site.
For further details of this work, please feel free to browse the presentation slides below.