Friday, November 17, 2006
I've now finished reading Serfaty's (2004) book on online diaries. Her penultimate chapter on 'male and female cyberbodies' got me thinking again about what images are actually doing in blogs. She discusses many different functions of the images (as a form of romanticising the narrative, as a comment on or stimulus for textual comment and so on) but also as an extra layer of representation, created selectively which simultaneously evokes authenticity and superficiality, deconstructing the boundary between the public and private. In the project that I am about to start working on, I wonder then, how images will be used. Will photos be present in blogs where people are writing about their illness? Will the images be a commentary, or constitute a narrative in their own right? I also wonder to what extent the multimodal possibilities of blogging and myspace are being used to create specific generic effects. The classic 'my space image' of the digital self portrait is a good case in point, which is now so well recognised as to be a generic marker. But what does it say about the social function and virtual community of those using myspace?