About the Talk
The screenshot is the workhorse of contemporary digital culture. Utterly ubiquitous as a method of quoting from digital media, usually within digital media, the screenshot continually escapes our attention as the focus and product of cultural practices. In this talk, Frosh will argue that the screenshot is not only among the most commonplace and overlooked of digital objects, but that it confounds prevalent theories of digital media – and digital images - as performances in perpetual flux. Investigating the screenshot as a vehicle of communicative fixity, he will analyze it as a kind of document and as a remediated photograph, delineating the epistemological and ontological assumptions that accompany its ubiquity. He will then examine the screenshot as a mode of witnessing, which in turn implicates its displayed ‘content’ – especially the interfaces of social media systems which we see and save on our screens – as witnessable worlds in their own right. Just as the photograph implies the plenitude and mutability of physical existence beyond the image of the scene it depicts, so the screenshot implies the plenitude and mutability of a digital lifeworld beyond the image of the screen it preserves.
About Paul Frosh
Paul Frosh is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research spans visual culture, media aesthetics, consumer culture, media witnessing, and cultural memory. His publications include The Poetics of Digital Media (2018), Media Witnessing: Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication (2011, edited with Amit Pinchevski), and The Image Factory: Consumer Culture, Photography and the Visual Content Industry (2003).