[SIGCIS-Members] New Project: Screenshot Histories
gaboury at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 12:32:36 PST 2023
Hi All! SIGCIS has been so instrumental to my work over the past decade
that I wanted to begin a new project by reaching out to the list for
thoughts and feedback on resources related to this topic.
In short I am writing a history of screenshots, based loosely on a series
of short articles <https://www.fotomuseum.ch/en/series/screens-shot/> I
wrote a few years ago. I'm interested in how we have historically
remediated computing as visual output, that is, how we got pictures off our
screens and into the world. This jumps off from some of my earlier work in
Chapter 2 of *Image Objects*
<https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262045032/image-objects/> on screen
photography from the 1940s-1970s, but also moves into the development of
WYSIWYG systems for print output at PARC in the 1970s, the use of CRT
cameras for advertising and documentation
<https://www.ebay.com/itm/275154558746> in the 1980s, and even more
"vernacular" practices of screen documentation, such as children
photographing video game high scores and taking screen selfies on beating a
game. I also plan to approach contemporary screenshot cultures, such as the
use of screenshots as "receipts" in texting and social media as well
practices in meme cultures <https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/deep-fried-memes>.
The goal is to understand how we have arrived at a moment when so many of
us are taking dozens, even hundreds of screenshots every week, and
screenshots have become a kind of evidentiary object for cultures of use
and individual actions taken via a computer.
I'm on sabbatical this year planning archive trips, and would love any
insight the list might have on where to look. I will be at the Computer
History Museum to look at materials on the Alto and Apple Lisa, but would
also love to hear from anyone that had experience with screen photography
during their careers, or with thoughts on any objects, sites, or
individuals I might look into or include.
Happy to hear from any and everyone with thoughts! Feel free and reach out
to me directly at: gaboury at berkeley.edu, and thank you!
Jacob Gaboury (he/him)
Associate Professor of New Media History and Theory
Dept. of Film & Media, University of California at Berkeley
*Image Objects: An Archaeology of Computer Graphics* (MIT Press, 2021)
Winner of the 2022 Computer History Museum Prize
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