This chapter turns to projects that think about and through the digital structures of data and databases, and the mobility of digital cameras. These projects explore how digital media disrupts conventional structures by prompting a rethinking of the concept of documenting that foregrounds spatiality over temporality, relationality over causality, and automated functions over auteurist choice. We draw on Christiane Paul’s description of a shift “from ‘mapping’ to ‘tagging’ as the new paradigm of dynamic classification, context creation, and meaning production” in digital media.1 Digital technologies not only map our anatomy, they tag our identity. We are becoming digital through biometrics (e.g., dates of birth, shoe sizes) in state and corporate databases and digital profiles in social media. Our digital identities exist as data in databases, which suggests that we can document ourselves or be documented by someone else, including an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled bot, without ever having to appear on camera. Comparably, mobile cameras and sensors also allow movements that are not constrained to human perspectives or abilities. More profound than a majestic crane-shot in the latest Hollywood blockbuster, mobile cameras can be harnessed to document spatial relations for further analysis.
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- Documenting Databases and Mobilizing Cameras
Patricia R. Zimmermann
- Palgrave Macmillan US