Mobile Reception: Materiality and Locality with Small Screens

Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Type:
The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production, 2019, 1, pp. 375 - 388
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Mobile phone screens have always been intimate displays. Attached to uniquely personal devices that rarely leave our sides and attached to networks that carry our most intimate communications these screens carry with them a boutique set of opportunities and challenges for screen-based production. In this chapter we examine these affordances and restrictions with particular focus on what sets these mobile screens apart from other screens as sites of reception, production and distribution. Particularly we focus on the materialities of the devices, the key aspects of the locative and the nature of mobile devices as networked screens. We draw on exemplars from mobile based media art productions that have made sophisticated use of these properties in ways that distinguish the mobile screen work as a modality with its own language, aesthetic rules and creative production strategies. In these examples we are looking at how media artists are continuing a tradition of experimentation with the materiality of new mediums and how this contributes to developing the language of the medium. We examine how the particular properties of the mobile screen influence the type of content that is produced. From the nature of the stories that sit well in the medium to the type of physical and virtual interaction that distinguish these screens from other networked screens.
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