Cinema and Media Studies scholarship has historically been grounded in examining media that has been deemed significant. Whether that significance has been determined to be social, aesthetic, political, or even economic, our focus has been trained on understanding and explaining its import. In the age of digital media networks, we now have the added metrics of shares and likes to support our methods of media consumption and engagement, or at the least confirm that there is indeed an active audience. Building from established approaches in the field, this article seeks to bring attention to the digital media landscape to ask, what do digital audiovisual media that have been posted online but do not circulate have to offer? A close textual analysis of several such videos is used to advocate for a methodology to elucidate the themes, identities, and production practices that are escaping (algorithmically informed) representation.
Towards a Methodology of Unwatched Digital Media
Lauren S. Berliner is Associate Professor of Media & Communication Studies and Cultural Studies at University of Washington, Bothell, where she teaches courses in digital media studies and visual culture. She is the author of Producing Queer Youth: the Paradox of Digital Media Empowerment and co-editor of Feminist Interventions in Participatory Media: Pedagogy, Publics, Practice. She is also a co-curator of The Festival of (In)Appropriation, an annual showcase of experimental media. Her current projects include a co-edited book called New Genre Studies, as well as a solo-authored manuscript entitled Unpopular! The Hidden Power of Unwatched Online Media.
Lauren S. Berliner; Towards a Methodology of Unwatched Digital Media. Feminist Media Histories 1 April 2022; 8 (2): 219–230. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/fmh.2022.8.2.219
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