New Essays on Mobile Phone Culture.

I have been focusing lately on the relationship between memory and the mobile
phone. This has culminated in co-writing a paper with Marsha Berry which will be
presented at ISEA 2009 in Belfast, an article ‘The Portable Shrine’ in
AJC Vol 36 (1) 2009 and a forthcoming presentation at the 2nd Arts Health
Conference in Newcastle.

I have not stopped using the mobile phone to take photos and record the
everyday and it’s nice to know that I am not the only one out there who is
intrigued by the manner in which this portable communication device
continues to penetrate our lives, as well as contour our communications
and capture our future memories.

Sometimes it’s just the flotsam and Jetsam that floats around our environment
that ends up trapped within the heart of our mobiles. Images of burning public
ashtrays, a piece of street art, or a self portrait sent to a friend bearing the
invisible tag “Hey, look what I’m doing right now”.

Recently,  I went to see Harry Potter and the teenage girl sitting in front of me
kept texting throughout the film. Her friends were all engrossed in the film,
but her experience was very much one of being focused on the world outside
of Hogwarts and the cinema. Of course much has been written about the notion
of co-presence, but I am wondering if having to communicate all the time is
some kind of Claustrophobia, a fear of being disconnected to a world of
‘push-button friends’.

If you get a chance, take a look at the latest edition of the Australian
Journal of Communication (AJC) Vol 36 (1) 2009, it looks at Mobile Phone
research in Australia and New Zealand. Under the heading of ‘Placing Mobile
Communications’, this latest issue has 9 essays on mobile phone culture
written by established and emerging researchers.

Enjoy,

Dean.

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~ by Dean on July 17, 2009.

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