The Transformative Power of the Thumbnail Image: Media Logistics and Infrastructural Aesthetics

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Thumbnail images are discreet, yet central navigational tools in increasingly complex visual information environments. Indeed, without thumbnail images there would be no image search: they are an inherent part of the information architecture of most digital information platforms. Yet, how might we understand the role of the thumbnail as an attention technology in the digital economy? And what kind of aesthetic does it produce? This paper examines the legal negotiations of the thumbnail image and the ensuing decision to conceptualize the thumbnail as a functional image against the cultural history of visual attention technologies and the aesthetics of their connective function. Such an endeavour, we propose, allows us to understand and appreciate the significant digital economy and particular aesthetic of the thumbnail image despite its apparent subtlety.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFirst Monday
Volume22
Issue number10
Number of pages10
ISSN1396-0466
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Also published as: Negotiating the thumbnail image: The transformative power of search engines and their “good enough” aesthetics

Keywords

  • Thumbnail image
  • Software infrastructure
  • World Wide Web
  • Copyright
  • Digitization

Cite this

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abstract = "Thumbnail images are discreet, yet central navigational tools in increasingly complex visual information environments. Indeed, without thumbnail images there would be no image search: they are an inherent part of the information architecture of most digital information platforms. Yet, how might we understand the role of the thumbnail as an attention technology in the digital economy? And what kind of aesthetic does it produce? This paper examines the legal negotiations of the thumbnail image and the ensuing decision to conceptualize the thumbnail as a functional image against the cultural history of visual attention technologies and the aesthetics of their connective function. Such an endeavour, we propose, allows us to understand and appreciate the significant digital economy and particular aesthetic of the thumbnail image despite its apparent subtlety.",
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The Transformative Power of the Thumbnail Image : Media Logistics and Infrastructural Aesthetics. / Thylstrup, Nanna Bonde; Teilmann-Lock, Stina.

In: First Monday, Vol. 22, No. 10, 02.10.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

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AU - Thylstrup, Nanna Bonde

AU - Teilmann-Lock, Stina

N1 - Also published as: Negotiating the thumbnail image: The transformative power of search engines and their “good enough” aesthetics

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N2 - Thumbnail images are discreet, yet central navigational tools in increasingly complex visual information environments. Indeed, without thumbnail images there would be no image search: they are an inherent part of the information architecture of most digital information platforms. Yet, how might we understand the role of the thumbnail as an attention technology in the digital economy? And what kind of aesthetic does it produce? This paper examines the legal negotiations of the thumbnail image and the ensuing decision to conceptualize the thumbnail as a functional image against the cultural history of visual attention technologies and the aesthetics of their connective function. Such an endeavour, we propose, allows us to understand and appreciate the significant digital economy and particular aesthetic of the thumbnail image despite its apparent subtlety.

AB - Thumbnail images are discreet, yet central navigational tools in increasingly complex visual information environments. Indeed, without thumbnail images there would be no image search: they are an inherent part of the information architecture of most digital information platforms. Yet, how might we understand the role of the thumbnail as an attention technology in the digital economy? And what kind of aesthetic does it produce? This paper examines the legal negotiations of the thumbnail image and the ensuing decision to conceptualize the thumbnail as a functional image against the cultural history of visual attention technologies and the aesthetics of their connective function. Such an endeavour, we propose, allows us to understand and appreciate the significant digital economy and particular aesthetic of the thumbnail image despite its apparent subtlety.

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KW - World Wide Web

KW - Copyright

KW - Digitization

KW - Thumbnail image

KW - Software infrastructure

KW - World Wide Web

KW - Copyright

KW - Digitization

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