Search online for examples of post digital archives, choose a favourite and bring it with you next week.
Write your thoughts about this publication on your blogs – why does this one interest you? What is it doing?
Post Digital was a term we had not yet fully discussed, so therefore I didn’t have a clear idea of what to search for. I chose to focus more on the term archive and think about this term has been changed by different digital technology. Facebook for example can be considered as one of the largest free image archives on the Internet, because it has so many users voluntarily contributing content. With this view in mind, I decided to consider my own Instagram account as a post digital archive for my life. I take, select and post images on my Instagram profile for a range of different purposes: to curate an image of myself, to promote my work as a photographer and to document what I do on a weekly basis. This example was interesting to me as it is what I am researching for my dissertation, therefore I always come back to Instagram and the prominence of this social media platform in culture now. I think that the idea of the viewer as the one doing all of the work, the company just providing the template is a really interesting thought, as the viewer can remain under the impression that they are in complete control. However when the service is free, the user can be thought of as the product, it is interesting to think that the company Instagram technically has a stake in all the images uploaded onto the platform.
Following the second lecture where we gained a better understanding on what the term Post Digital means, I can analyse my choice of archive in a different manner. When we think of post digital, we are thinking of a user considering all of the options available to them, digital or traditional, and making a decision of what suits them best. However this decision is not made by romanticising the traditional method like, for example the smell of an old book. With this in mind, I can reconsider whether my Instagram profile does count as a post digital archive, by thinking about the intent behind this collection of images. As stated earlier my motives behind having an Instagram account were to create and maintain an image of self. The Instagram profile can be viewed as a very external image of self because it is unattached to my body, it is not something that would be considered when someone meets me in the offline world. Here my sense of self would be better portrayed by my choice of outfit, makeup, jewellery and other elements like my mannerisms, my choice of conversation topic etc. It really depends on WHO I want to promote my sense of self to, which would indicate whether Instagram is the most suitable choice. Secondly I addressed that I used Instagram to promote my work as a photographer, this approach is slightly more understandable, because the Internet allows the capacity to reach a great number of people. However these people would only be able to engage with this content if they had an Instagram account, so it does exclude a certain amount of people on the Internet, not to mention all of the individuals that are not part of the online world. Thirdly I stated that I used Instagram as a method of documenting what I do on a weekly basis, however this very personal activity does not necessarily need to be in the online world, and shared so publicly with other people. Something so intimate and personal to me might be better served if I chose a more traditional method such as the photo album, or a memory box, or framing photographs and putting them on the wall in my room. Instagram and other social media has actively encouraged people to share their private moments in public spheres, by engaging in this activity I have had a much more active role in curating the content I produce in order to promote an image of self I feel that would be appreciated and validated more by others. This validation has the priority over the apparent purpose of the imagery, which is to document my life; external pressures have shaped the memories I chose to collect.