I am following readings that in particular cover the affordance of portability, and again I find that Mizuko Ito has a really interesting way of thinking about affortability. In her article, Personal Portable Pedestrian: Lessons from Japanese Mobile Phone, Mizuko argues that in Japan the mobile phone, or keitai, is ‘a snug and intimate technosocial tethering’.
Mizuko finds that the messages sent on mobile phones were ‘simple messages sharing their location, status, or emotional state, and did not necessitate a response’. Similarly she found that pictures taken on a mobile phone as distinct from a high performing DSLR are also ‘often of the more fleeting and mundane moments of everyday life’. And what do we do with these fleeting ephemera? We share them. Which raises the next question of who do we share them with? And why?
An example is these videos of a young baby who at nearly one year old is exploring every element of the world that comes her way. This includes this quaint and old-fashioned spinning top. She has been playing with this top for a while but has always needed someone else to spin it for her. Then one day she works it out. She has enough dexterity now to manage both the pushing down of the top and keeping it balanced on a shiny floor.
I filmed the moment. The first time I filmed it was on my iphone with a the video camera. Grabbing the moment just to grab it. This is it:
The next time I switched over to Cinematic which has a flexible on/off button that allows you to pause and restart filming. This let me collect some really brief moments in this great success of spinning the top. It also meant it was short and I could quickly share it with friends. I posted it straight away on Facebook and Instagram, sharing the small, special and ephemeral moment with friends and family.
Shooting this moment as a video on my phone and keeping it on a hard drive as a part of history seems so redundant in a world where more and more we are using moving image content to communicate and share fleeting, ordinary but at times meaningful moments.
Mizuko Ito, Personal Portable Pedestrian: Lessons from Japanese Mobile Phone Use: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Mizuko-ITO/1896