Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media: The Prosaic Image, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Culture, Aesthetics and Affect in Ubiquitous Media

The Prosaic Image, 1st Edition

By Helen Grace


232 pages | 165 B/W Illus.

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This book argues that ubiquitous media and user-created content establish a new perception of the world that can be called ‘particulate vision’, involvinga different relation to reality that better represents the atomization of contemporary experience especially apparent in social media. Drawing on extensive original research including detailed ethnographic investigation of camera phone practices in Hong Kong, as well as visual analysis identifying the patterns, regularities and genres of such work, it shows how new distributed forms of creativity and subjectivity now work to shift our perceptions of the everyday. The book analyses the specific features of these new developments – the components of what can be called a ‘general aesthesia’ – and it focuses on the originality and innovation of amateur practices, developing a model for making sense of the huge proliferation of images in contemporary culture, discovering rhythms and tempo in this work and showing why it matters.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The dynamic sequencing of cultural genomes? 1. Spectral Monumentality and the Face of Time: Virtuality, distortions of scale and asynchrony in postcolonial Hong Kong 2. The Surrogate Image and Blog Life:

Mobility in the everyday blogosphere 3. Sounding the Image: Between Visuality and Orality 4. Particulate Vision and the Evasion of Capture 5. iPhone Girl: Assembly, assemblages and affect in the life of an image

About the Author

Helen Grace is Visiting Professor, National Central University, Chung-Li, Taiwan, an Associate in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies and Research Affiliate, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, and an award winning filmmaker and new media producer.

About the Series

Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars in the West and the East, on all aspects of media, culture and social change in Asia. New proposals are welcome, and should be sent in the first instance to the series editor, Stephanie Donald, at

Editorial Board:

Gregory N. Evon, University of New South Wales
Devleena Ghosh, University of Technology, Sydney
Michael Keane, Curtin University
Tania Lewis, RMIT University, Melbourne
Vera Mackie, University of Wollongong
Kama Maclean, University of New South Wales

Laikwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Gary Rawnsley, Aberystwyth University
Ming-yeh Rawnsley, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
Jo Tacchi, Loughborough University
Adrian Vickers, University of Sydney
Jing Wang, MIT
Ying Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist University



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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General