Emerging Art Forms

12Sep11

An article in the New York Times [1] represents many of the topics highlighted in chapter two. The article discusses the use of the iPhone being used on photo walks in San Francisco as well as other cities around the world instead of the traditional “point-and-shoot cameras.” These iPhone enthusiasts use popular applications to quickly enhance and edit photographs which end up being easy to share with other smartphones. This type of photo walk moves also away from the traditionally “serious” photo walks and lends itself to a more sociable, fun atmosphere.

Furthermore, iPhone photo walks are cheap (as long as you already have the phone) since apps usually run between 99 cents and two dollars. As an affordable hobby, this type of photography has become popular for amateurs and professionals alike. After the walk, participants gather at a bar or restaurant to socialize, review and discuss the photographs. However, as Mark Deuze (2007) admits, “This lowering of the threshold for technological convergence can…be considered problematic for media practitioners” or in this case photographers, since new applications enable amateurs.

“People increasingly use the same device for multiple functions, making the [cell phone] a truly ‘universal machine’ that we use to work and play simultaneously…” (Deuze 2007). The iPhone has become a “powerful tool for creative expression, rather than as a pocket-size plaything…the big shift happens when you go from using the camera to document daily life to thinking of it as a tool for photography” (Lappin). It is clear that we are seeing a convergence of technology with other cellular features, but we are also seeing a convergence of technology and art.

Kathryn Rudolph

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