"IT LOOKS BETTER ON INSTAGRAM": NETWORKED PHOTOGRAPHY AND PUBLIC ART IN MUMBAI
AbstractIn this paper, I discuss networked photography practices and selfie cultures at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, an annual cultural festival in Mumbai, to demonstrate how global digital visual cultures are translated in the urban Indian context, and offer new ways of thinking about the conceptualisation and experience of art, the city and the resident. I argue that the desire for networked photography that animates the assemblage of installations, artists, visitors, curators, camera technologies and social networking sites, alters ideas of space and place, and object production and meaning making. I approach the selfie and everyday networked photography as a form of self-expression, labour (Abidin 2016), locative media (Hess 2015), embodied socialisation (Frosh 2015) and a mode of photography that collapses binaries of subject/object, spectator/operator and curated image/curator (Frosh 2015, Senft and Baym 2015). I use qualitative digital methods, interviews, audiovisual documentation and autoethnography. Through visuals recorded in the exhibition area at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in 2020, I demonstrate how the unique sense of intimacy and limited field of vision offered by the lens and screen of the camera phone, turn the exhibition space into a space of embodied interdependence and collaboration. At the same time, as a result of the neoliberal logic of commodification of the algorithms of social networking sites, postcolonial place is rendered ahistorical and reinterpreted as a space for creative photography and the visual production of a global digital identity.
How to Cite
Savnal, K. (2021). "IT LOOKS BETTER ON INSTAGRAM": NETWORKED PHOTOGRAPHY AND PUBLIC ART IN MUMBAI. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12037