PIM Project 3_Portability: Reflection on recording the mundane presence in everyday life

What is striking me about the affordance we are exploring (portability) is that what is being recorded by most people using their mobile devices is the ordinariness, the mundanity of life. Until quite recently this has been via text, then images, but now the capacity to share short, quick, easy to make video has really changed the conversation.

The readings provided in the latest flipped lecture have really helped galvanise my thinking on this. The quotes from Mizuko, Matsuda and Okabe are great springboards, including this one:

‘Portables colonize the in between spaces of everyday life…’

People are observing, recording and sharing moments of the everyday. As I’ve been working on and thinking about sketches for this project I am constantly being drawn back to the everyday. That’s what I’ve been filming – what I see as I go about my life. My streets, my beach, my family, my park, my city. And I’m asking myself, as a filmmaker, what am I making? What’s different to these and the 600 hours of video content uploaded to YouTube every minute? Does there have to be a difference?

The other aspect to this is sharing. I am not making this content for my own personal record. And I’m not making it as part of a large production. Mobile content is made to share. So the making of mobile videos is inextricably linked with sharing them. Again from Mizuko, Matsuda and Okabe:

‘It is less about the ability to communicate “on the go” and more the fact that social relations are always close at hand.’

I’m exploring the sharing video sites at the moment and will add more comments on this as I work through making sketches on these sites and engaging with their capacity.


Personal, Portable, Pedestrian: Mobile Phones in Japanese Life, Edited by Mizuko Ito, Misa Matsuda and Daisuke Okabe, MIT Press, Cambridge


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