Jessie Caesar – S3787379
I declare that in submitting all work for this assessment I have read, understood and agree to the content and expectations of the assessment declaration –
Week 5 – Analogue Photography (Practice Analysis)
Week 6 – Analogue Video (Practice Analysis)
Week 7 – Networked Photography (Practice Analysis)
Week 8 – Networked Video (Practice Analysis)
This review responds directly to the following prompt: How do the affordances of Instagram affect the way photos and videos are authored, published and distributed in the network?
Titled: How has the the shift from ‘Analogue Media’ to ‘Networked Media’ had a direct impact on the authoring, publishing and distribution of media within the network? (Word Count: 1,183)

The term ‘Authoring’ refers to how a media practitioner produces their work. For example, if we were talking about how a photo on a 35mm camera is authored, we would be discussing the procedure of taking a 35mm photo – i.e., loading the 35mm with film, developing the image. The term ‘Publishing’ refers to where the media practitioner publishes or showcases their work. In the case of our previous example; a 35mm film photo might be ‘published’ to the family photo album. The term ‘Distributing’ refers to where and how the media practitioner distributes or shares their work to, or with. Say the image was taken by a professional Photographer, who has the intention to showcase their world worldwide, they may ‘distribute’ their work in various art galleries around the world.

“In analogue photography a picture was formed through transcription, in principle tracing or witnessing actual people, places and circumstances (pp.25-26, Wells, 2015)”. In ‘Analogue Photography’ a roll of film is placed in the camera, and the photographer had to direct and take the image exactly as they wanted it, with the people they wished to shoot, there. The photographic film is made up of layers of light-sensitive silver halide emulsion coated on a flexible base, and when the film is exposed to light in a camera, it creates a latent image, to then be developed. This didn’t mean that they weren’t able to select, crop and retouch, they were just rather tedious procedures to perform prior to digital capabilities, as they were processed and printed chemically. The film images were known as negatives, and the process of development involved where the image was first, chosen through a magnifying glass, ensuring dust is kept off the negative as it is placed within the enlarger; exposed onto photographic paper, which was then put through trays of developer, stop bath and fixer, before the negative image was printed, before being hung up to dry with pegs.

“Digital photography operates through a conversion whereby physical properties are symbolised through numerical coding (pp.25-26, Wells, 2015)”. Digital photography was the emergence of instant photography cameras (polaroid cameras) that lead to DSLR/SLR cameras, and many more digital cameras alike – eliminating film photography and chemically processed and printed images from the mainstream media practice. After some years of technological advancement within the digital world, “we have witnessed a number of convergences…between the camera, the internet and personal mobile media, notably the mobile telephone’ (pp. 13, Lister in Wells, 2015)”. This convergence between photography and digital technologies contributed to a mass change in the way that images are authored, published and distributed. This mass change referring to the emergence of the internet, SNSs and the ‘Network’. The affordances of these SNS platforms then contributed to another huge change within the way we author, publish and distribute, with the internet and the personal mobile becoming a camera, that continually develops, the ‘users’ are now able to author rather profound photographs, publish and distribute them to their Social Networking Sites (SNSs). “Camera phones represent something new in the history of photography, because they are capable not only of recording and displaying images but also instantly sharing them, via the Internet or messaging services. A photograph no longer moves in fixed and linear fashion from a capture device (camera) to a processor (darkroom or chemist) to a viewing context (family album) (pp. 245, Palmer, D. 2014)”. Therefore, ‘Networked Photography’ refers to this authoring, publishing and distributing of photographs on said SNSs within the ‘Network’.

‘Analogue Video’ began with the use of Reel-to-Reel film taping, where they used magnetic tape/film, which was then threaded through the reel-to-reel camera and onto an empty reel to be used to record. This kind of filming technique developed into newer technologies such as the cassette tapes and the VCR system, which allowed analogue film-makers to publish and distribute these films in a whole new means. Prior to these newer technologies, they were only able to send the one and only copy of the film reel around the world to view. They were now able to duplicate these films, to then distribute them to be screened and viewed, worldwide – changing the way that film-makers author, publish and distribute video content. “Analogue recording is a linear process involving the creation of variations in a recording medium that correspond to variations in the signal being captured… Analogue devices, such as VCRs, tape and record players, read analogue media by physically scanning these variations (NSW State Archives, 2020)”. These signals that were being captured in ‘Analogue Video’ were what the famous White and RGB (Red, Green, Blue) cables (or Composite Video Cables) were in the back of an Analogue TV were for. These picked up the audio and video signals that were captured within the recording of ‘Analogue Video’. While the introduction of ‘Analogue Video’ was a game changer for media practitioners worldwide – the way they author, publish and distribute video was about to develop and change again with the introduction of digital video, thus the ‘Networked Video’.

‘Networked Video’ is authored with digital devices, that use the digital binary code system, and can be read by computers and mobiles as well as TV/Cinema screens. It’s now the standard video method we use, that is non-linear – meaning we are able to edit and play-back at any point, as many times as we like, without damaging the quality of the film; Unlike ‘Analogue Film’, which degrades after use, destroying the quality of the film each time we play it back. “Digital devices such as CD recorders and camcorders convert the signal and turn it into digital information – a sequence of numbers – sampling at set intervals.(NSW State Archives, 2020)”. The higher this sampling rate is, the higher the quality of the video. When we look at defining the term ‘networked video’, we must look at the terms ‘network’ and ‘video’ separately, first. The term ‘Network’ refers to the internet, and the Social Networking Sites (SNSs) that users engage with to ‘Network’ with one-another. The ‘Video’, is considered an electronic medium, meaning that it’s authored/produced on digital cameras and are dependent on the the electronic transfer of signals – signals that are generated within a camera, that are constantly moving, and have the ability to circulate between recording and reproduction equipment. Video “makes use of one track for image and one for sound… The simultaneity of recording and reproduction differentiates video from the photo-chemical recording media, photography, and film (pp. 1, Spielman, Y., 2007)”. If we then look at these terms together, ‘Networked Video’ refers to video content that is published on the World Wide Web and are distributed throughout the ‘Network’.

Once we have considered all of this, it is clear to see how the shift from ‘Analogue Media’ to ‘Networked Media’ had a direct impact on the way media practitioners author, publish and distribute media. This is important to note, when moving towards unpacking the courses prompt of ‘How do the affordances of Instagram affect the way photos and videos are authored, published and distributed in the network?


NETWORKED MEDIA: W8 – Networked Video (Practice Analysis)


TASTY (BUZZFEED) – @buzzfeedtasty

Instagram is more than one thing: it is an app; it is a series of programs and algorithms; it is a gigantic database of images, videos, captions, comments, geolocative tags, location tags, likes, emoji and more and more items over time; it is a collection of personal data (connected with similar sets of personal data after the purchase by Facebook); it is an application program interface (API) which enacts rules to allow different apps, platforms and partners to access, add or remove data from the Instagram database; it is a series of decisions and developments over time that create different versions of each of these things; and it also encapsulates various popular understandings of what Instagram ‘is’ to the more than a billion people who use it. In short, describing Instagram as a platform offers a continual reminder that Instagram is many different things, some at the same time, and some that have quite radically changed over time (Leaver, Tama, et al. 2020).” One of the most important features, the video, is used in many different ways within the network. “Online video has been transformed from an expensive to distribute mediaform to one which can be networked, shared, downloaded and re-used with ease. Digital videos, a kind of ‘vernacular avant-garde’, can now be found in a variety of short-form genres, from family videos to haul videos (documenting things people have bought) to unboxing videos (people opening the wrapper from their new purchases) and from a new type of YouTube celebrity to amusing ‘meme’ videos (Berry, T. B 2018).” This has changed the way photo and video practitioners share their work, opening a new way of monetising online, through clicks and views – with Instagram becoming one of the most popular avenues to do so. @buzzfeedtasty

When we look for an example of the online video being used this way on Instagram, we look to Buzzfeed Tastyan Instagram account that is attached and apart of the original Buzzfeed blog-site; which has a main focus on short online video based content used to teach people ‘easy’ and ‘quick’ recipes, as well as promoting longer video content of theirs that can be found on IGTV or other SNS platforms such as YouTube.

An example of their work is this one-minute tutorial video on what they call “Hash-brown Waffles”, posted to their Instagram on 26th April, 2020. Buzzfeed work to strict time limits, with all of their tutorials hitting a rough one-minute mark. What’s interesting about Buzzfeed Tasty, is that they have a team of content creators that contribute to their page (which you can see in the referenced image above, just below their description box), as opposed to one person running the account alone.

This means that we can presume that the “Hash-brown Waffle” video, was authored by multiple content creators – the food created by one person, shot by another person, edited by someone else, and so on, so forth.

Published to the World Wide Web, on the SNS Instagram to be specific, well as being distributed on their other Tasty accounts on their original Buzzfeed blog-site and other SNS accounts such as Facebook and YouTube – With the intention to make money through clicks/views, and distribute their content as far around the world as they can, on as many platforms as they can, across the World Wide Web to do so.


NETWORKED MEDIA: W7 – Networked Photography (Practice Analysis)


BRAD ELTERMAN (Born: 19 September 1956)

A conversation with 70s Iconic Photographer: Brad Elterman ...

ShootTokyo, 2020, A conversation with 70s Iconic Photographer: Brad Elterman — ShootTokyo, <> [Accessed 18 April 2020].

“Camera phones represent something new in the history of photography, because they are capable not only of recording and displaying images but also instantly sharing them, via the Internet or messaging services. A photograph no longer moves in fixed and linear fashion from a capture device (camera) to a processor (darkroom or chemist) to a viewing context (family album) – camera has itself become a viewing device and a mass communication platform. As a result, images are in constant circulation, endlessly multiplying (Palmer, D. 2014)”. This paved the way for many online platforms to showcase images, making it a simple as a few taps away for media practitioners to share their work with the including; including the SNS Instagram.

An example of a photography/media practitioner, who has make the switch from Analogue Photography to Networked Photography across his career, we look to Photographer Brad Elterman. “Originally from the San Fernando Valley, Elterman rose to acclaim early, managing to save enough from the proceeds of his photo sales to German and Japanese magazines Music Life, Rock Show and Freizeit to land his own West Hollywood apartment while still in his teens. Ingratiating himself as the go-to biographer of the Sunset ‘in’ crowd, the young photographer soon gained access to the kind of Hollywood inner-sanctums unthinkable now in an era where even the youngest stars’ careers are micro-managed by publicists, managers and social media gurus (Elterman, B. 2020)”. “In a time when most photographers decided to portray these artists performing on stage under the glitz and spectacle of the limelight, Elterman decided to point his camera in the opposite direction…He portrayed these idols in their downtime, presenting them as normal people that watched TV, ate fries and played soccer. Curiously, while he renders these superstars as vulnerable human beings, he does it with such taste and respect, it actually exalts them… His work has been published almost everywhere, from NME, Melody Maker, Rolling Stone, and the National Enquirer, to now extinct magazines like Popcorn in Germany, Pop Foto in Amsterdam, and Rock Show in Tokyo (Feature Shoot, 2020)”. Elterman, making his career in the 70’s, physically went through the shift from Analogue Media to Networked Media himself – now taking to Instagram to showcase both his analogue works from the past, as well as images taken from his phone and shared to the platform as it happens; Making use of the platforms algorithm in two ways, promotionally (in the way he promotes his own image and showcases his work) and in the way that he uses its ability to instantaneously connect with the world.

“I have been so blessed to have had the most incredible talent in front of my camera during the 70’s and today.”

“I cut the Cymbidiums today. #cymbidium”

We can look to two examples of this when we take a deeper observation of his profile. The first image we look at is a photograph from the Analogue Photography era, reposted and repurposed on his Instagram page. Here we see one of the many images of Joan Jett that Elterman took in the 1970’s. Elterman has posted it to his Instagram with the intention to promote his self-image through highlighting and   showcasing his prior works. Then when   we look to the second image (posted   April 9, 2020) from his Instagram profile,   we see that he has posted a photograph,   clearly taken from his mobile phone (we   can presume, for this examination, he   owns an iPhone – one of the most   popular mobile/camera phones on the   market), and posted to his Instagram   profile with the intention to use its platform to connect with the world in real time.

The first image of Joan Jett was taken in the 70’s, meaning that it was created using Analogue Photographic methods. Due to the fact that he was a young teen when beginning his photography journey, and the fact that the image was authored in the 70’s, we can presume Elterman used a 35mm Point-and-shoot camera – camera’s, that were popular at the time. We then can assume he then would have had chosen his negatives through a magnifying glass, ensuring he kept dust off the negative as he placed it in the enlarger; exposed onto photographic paper; the photographic paper was then put through trays of developer, stop bath and fixer and the printed photo was hung up to dry with pegs.

While the second image was published directly to Instagram, and distributed no further, some people may repurpose this in posting the image to their own SNS profiles (i.e. Fan profiles). However, the first image of Joan Jett was taken as one of many images that Elterman took of Jett during their private time spent together over the 70’s, and Jett being one of pop musics biggest icons – the images were (and still continue to be) published and distributed in magazines, and now online on websites all over the world wide web. An example of this is, is presented in an article published by Vice Magazine, where the author discusses the exact photos of Joan Jett with Elterman, and what exactly happened to the negatives in terms of publishing and distributing, stating “Back in the 70s, when I was super prolific with my camera, I would mail my color slides and black-and-white prints to magazines all over the world—I did keep and file my black-and-white negatives. A few years ago, I was in Tokyo and went back to Shinko Music, which published the glossy Music Life and Rock Show magazines. They published everything I sent them, and I became their Los Angeles correspondent. When I got there, everyone was gone except for an elderly security guard who told me that everyone left years ago and that he had no idea what happened to their archives. This wasn’t an isolated phenomenon. Every single one of the publications I had sent to in the 70s folded, and their archives vanished. Thousands of analog photos were tossed and left for dumpster divers.”


NETWORKED MEDIA: W6 – Analogue Video (Practice Analysis)


NAM JUNE PAIK (1932-2006)

Nam June Paik (The Art Story, 2020)

Nam June Paik was a Korean/American artist, born in   Gyeongseong (Seoul during the period of Japanese occupation in   1910-1945) on the 20th of July 1932. Paik was known as the   “father of video art (The Art Story, 2020)”, who   experimented with   analogue video, “is one of the most manifold media artists when it   comes to his selection of material, constant readiness to test the   implementation of new technologies and cross-boundary activities   (Holling, 2013)” who’s “revolutionary practice laid the groundwork   for today’s   artists working in ned media art (The Art Story, 2020)”.   Paik created different works throughout his entire life, up until his   death in 2006, and lived and practiced through various periods, with his art falling into Neo-Dada, Modern Art and Fluxus art periods. “Paik’s early training in classical music combined with his interest in utilizing sound elements from real life, inspired by artist John Cage, positioned his career early as a member of the Fluxus movement. His passion for combining audio, visual, and electronic elements was formed there (The Art Story, 2020)”. Paik was a pioneer, who predicted many of the things we see today such as social media and internet – “writing about his desire for a ‘video common market’ that would allow for the free dissemination of not only artwork, but also education, collaboration, and dialogue on an international scale. His ideas have come full circle with the advent of today’s Facebooks and Youtubes (The Art Story, 2020)”, and even coining the term “‘electronic superhighway’ to denote what he saw as a future in which technology would allow for boundary-less connection between people on a global scale. His term might be considered the first mention of the concept that would eventually become manifest in the Internet, and is in fact, the term used universally today (The Art Story, 2020)”. This is particularly interesting when we look back to our courses prompt, How do the affordances of Instagram affect the way photos and videos are authored, published and distributed in the network? One could argue that Paik was the reason the Internet, and subsequently SNS’s such as Instagram, came to the fore. Nam June Paik began authoring, publishing and distributing photos and videos long before Instagram was even a thing.

An example of his work is his 1995 piece, Megatron/Matrix. Megatron/Matrix was one of Nam June Paik’s final works, before a heart attack left him paralysed until his death. Made of 215 monitors, it represents a flashing billboard of sorts that consists of two sections.

Video/Installation Art from Nam June Paik – “Megatron/Matrix”

 “The Megatron is a massive grid of monitors placed side by side in straight rows and columns. The screens show smaller clips in an array of disparate real world images from the Seoul Olympics to Korean folk rituals to modern dance. On the boundaries between screens, larger, animated images emerge, demonstrating the idea of a world without borders in the electronic age. If the Megatron conveys the vast reach of media culture, the smaller section, the Matrix, emphasizes its impact on each of us. In Matrix, the monitors are arranged in a way that the images seem to spiral inward around a lone, central screen showing two partially nude women. The artist may be suggesting that our bodies are our primal connection to the world, but like the lone screen we are surrounded by “too much information” – The Art Story, 2020. Nam June Paik Art, Bio, Ideas | TheArtStory

Megatron/Matrix is a symbolisation of Nam June Paik’s awareness of the power of video technology and how it should be realised in the new millennium. Because this piece is an installation, one would presume that the authorisation of this piece would involve the setting up of the monitors on a wall with enough power points for them all. Paik then would have carefully chosen what part of the image/video that would be on each monitor, that would then make sense once put all together. It was then purchased by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington D.C. for display – however, an image is available to view on their website.


NETWORKED MEDIA: W5 – Analogue Photography (Practice Analysis)


Martine Franck and Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a French born photographer – born in Chanteloup-en-Brie, Seine-et-Marne in 1908. Cartier-Bresson developed a love with surrealism and painting early on, with his creative passions turning to the camera in 1932, after he had spent a year in the Ivory Coast and discovering “the Leica – his camera of choice after that moment – and began a life-long passion for photography (Magnum Photos, Unknown)“. Cartier-Bresson’s surrealistic, artistic abilities translated into his later photography work, with some arguing that he approaches photography like an artist, being interested in the structure, the composition, the relationship between shapes in the image before anything else and focuses on: storytelling, portraiture, environment, intimacy, trust, the time needed to take a picture of a person or activity, the instinct needed to capture the right moment quickly without hesitation and sensitivity in relation to observing things and working with people. Cartier-Bresson had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, paving the way for a long and successful career, with about: 10 awards; 31 exhibitions; 15 collections; 38 books and 7 films under his belt – as well as being the co-founder for Magnum Photos. “He explained his approach to photography in these terms, ‘”For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression”… “From 1968, he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work…He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday (Magnum Photos, Unknown)“.

Henri Cartier Bresson – Kyoto, Japan, 1965

 Looking to some of his works to analyse, I have   chosen his 1965 piece Kyoto, Japan, from his   JAPAN collection.

 Henri Cartier-Bresson was known for using only   one camera and lens for almost all of his work –     a Leica rangefinder and a 50mm. We can   therefore assume that this picture was originally   authored by said Leica rangefinder and 50mm.   He then would have had chosen his negatives   through a magnifying glass, ensuring he kept   dust off the negative as he placed it in the   enlarger; exposed onto photographic paper; the   photographic paper was then put through trays   of developer, stop bath and fixer and the printed   photo was hung up to dry with pegs. Cartier-   Bresson presents a beautiful shot, that follows   the photography rule of thirds.

Kyoto, Japan was published as a part of a collection called JAPAN in 1965 as a gelatin silver print. While it’s now available to purchase online and through auctions, it once wouldn’t have been so simple to view or purchase, due to its publish year of 1965, and the internet not even having made way yet. The publishing process also would not have been so simple, as everything was still analogue.

The photo collection was originally exhibited in museums around the world, and is now offered to view and purchase through Magnum Photos and other art retailers – giving the collection and piece a global platform.