This book argues that ubiquitous media and user-created content establish a new perception of the world that can be called ‘particulate vision’, involving a 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.

chapter |26 pages


‘Dynamic sequencing of cultural genomes'?

chapter 1|17 pages

Spectral monumentality and the face of time

Virtuality, distortions of scale and asynchrony in post-colonial Hong Kong

chapter 2|31 pages

The surrogate image and blog life

Mobility in the everyday blogosphere

chapter 3|51 pages

Sounding the image

Between visuality and orality

chapter 5|19 pages

iPhone girl

Assembly, assemblages and affect in the life of an image