Do You Follow?
Social media imagery and public discourse
WHEN: Friday, May 24
WHERE: Atwater Library Auditorium
TIME: 9:30 a.m.
Stephen Monteiro, Concordia University
Social media today is a pageantry of images. Lives play out in a steady stream of photographs, videos, and GIFs on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat as over a billion users upload hundreds of millions of images daily. What should we make of the global appeal of these new forms of networked visual communication and exchange? In what ways do they alter the terms of interpersonal relationships and social discourse through corporate frames of commodification, quantification, and monetization? This talk considers these questions in exploring the structure and mechanics of image-based social media. It traces the interdependence of properties and practices that include the aesthetics of filters and effects, the development of new image genres, the logic of feeds and following, and the role of paid endorsements by influencers. It contends that the increasingly blurred lines between self-expression, visual conversation, and commercial promotion on these platforms present a significant challenge to the open exchange of ideas, access to reliable information, and the construction of sustainable models of social engagement and action.
Stephen Monteiro is Affiliate Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University. His most recent book, The Fabric of Interface (MIT Press, 2017), examines the relationship between digital industries, craft cultures, and entrenched social inequality. He is also the author of Screen Presence (Edinburgh University Press, 2016), and the editor of The Screen Media Reader (Bloomsbury, 2017).
Access to this event is free of charge, but advance registration is required. Please send an email to email@example.com if you would like participate.