Amateur Media and Participatory Cultures aims to delineate the boundary line between today’s amateur media practice and the canons of professional media and film practice. Identifying various feasible interpretative frameworks, from historical to anthropological perspectives, the volume proposes a critical language able to cope with amateur and new media’s rapid technological and interpretative developments.
Conscious of the fact that amateur media continue to be seen as the benchmark of visual records of authentic rather than mass-media-derived events, Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes and Susan Aasman pay particular attention to the ways in which diverse sets of concepts of amateur media have now merged across global visual narratives and everyday communication protocols. Building on key research questions and content analysis in media and communication studies, they have assessed differences between professional and amateur media productions based on the ways in which the ‘originators’ of an image have been influenced by, or have challenged, their context of production. This proposes that technical skills, degrees of staging and/or censoring visual information, and patterns in media socialisation define central differences between professional and amateur media production, distribution and consumption.
The book’s methodical and interdisciplinary approach provides valuable insights into the ways in which visual priming, cultural experiences and memory-building are currently shaped, stored and redistributed across new media technologies and visual channels.
As one of the founders of this new field of research, I can vouch that we’ve been all waiting for this type of book on amateur media. The authors have carefully considered the last decades of research done on the theme of amateur media practice, from home movie making to digital and online productions, and raised pertinent theoretical issues as well as opened new research avenues. A timely and important book.
Professor Roger Odin, Emeritus Professor of Information Sciences and Communication at Paris 3 – Sorbonne Nouvelle.
This fiercely original book widens amateur media cartographies by recalibrating with interdisciplinary methodologies, global visualities, and participatory media platforms. It insists amateurism is not marginal, but ubiquitous as its variegated practices migrate across histories, ethics, counterhistories, archives, technologies. A massively significant, daring, rigorous, and field-changing intervention into amateur media studies.
Patricia R. Zimmermann, Professor of Screen Studies, Ithaca College, USA
Chapter 1. From marginal to mainstream: a history of amateur media
Chapter 2. Everyday complexities and contradictions in contemporary amateur media
Chapter 3. The non-ephemeral amateur media and constructions of self
Chapter 4. The politics of ethical representation in amateur media
Chapter 5. Memory and amateur media’s visual counter-histories
Chapter 6. Lost and found: amateur media in the archive