Live, here and now: experiences of immediate connection through habitual social media
My PhD project was spurred by the belief that the development and adoption of technologies of communication has as one of its driving forces the attempt to overcome the limits of time, of space, and of our fleshly bodies – and that whatever we refer to as ‘liveness’ is perhaps one of this aspiration’s most enduring manifestations. Bearing this in mind, the project comprehends the examination of the new dimensions and attributions of ‘the live’ in the current social media environment. In this pursuit, I am not necessarily, or exclusively, interested in ‘live streaming’ platforms and applications; I consider liveness to be a vastly more complex articulation that involves institutions, technologies, and users (van Es 2016). In this scope, the ‘live’ is both about the orchestration of the experiential and the continuous quest for authenticity, presence, shared experience and immediacy in contexts marked precisely by mediation. It is, then, the paradoxical experience of immediate connection through media.
In this project, I am adhering to a critical-phenomenological perspective. This presupposes a focus on perceptual processes to examine and interrogate the very structures of lived experience, whilst paying attention to the social, technical, economic, and political forces that drive the development of social media. In this critical phenomenology of mediation, liveness is treated in different moments as either the object of enquiry or as the analytical, sensitising device for the discussion of the experiential opportunities afforded and constrained by ubiquitous communication technologies. In order to support an empirical analysis centred on ordinary experiences, the theoretical framework combines key concepts from the phenomenological tradition and current contributions from emerging areas of scholarship such as platform and critical algorithm studies. I examine social media by deploying some of the organising principles of phenomenology – temporality, spatiality, embodiment, and intersubjectivity – as anchoring points. In doing so, I posit that liveness is not only a paradigmatic topic for phenomenological inquiry when it comes to mediated experiences, but also that in focusing on ‘the live’ the core themes of this philosophical stream become observable in the multifarious experiences people have with and of social media in the context of everyday life.
Supervisors: Professor Nick Couldry and Professor Ellen Helsper
Ludmila completed her MSc in Communication and Information at Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (PPGCOM/UFRGS), Brazil, in 2016. In her dissertation, she looked into the appropriations and new applications of animated GIFs. She holds a BA in Social Communication – Publicity and Advertising (Famecos/PUCRS). Previously, she worked with market research and art direction. Her doctoral project is supported by an LSE PhD Studentship.
Journal Articles (Peer-reviewed)
- (2021) “Absentmindedly scrolling through nothing: liveness and compulsory continuous connectedness in social media”. Media, Culture & Society, 43(2), pp.273-290. https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443720939454
- (2021) “‘Da minha sala pra sua’: teorizando o fenômeno das lives em mídias sociais”. Galáxia, São Paulo, PUC-SP. ISSN 1982-2553, https://revistas.pucsp.br/index.php/galaxia/article/view/49052
- (2018) “Interações e práticas no Facebook”, with Alex Primo, Vanessa Valiati, and Laura Barros. Revista Contracampo, Niterói, UFF, v.37, n.2, ago-nov 2018. E-ISSN 2238-2577. Available in Portuguese: http://periodicos.uff.br/contracampo/article/view/17630/pdf_1
- (2017) “Até o Travolta ficou confuso: sobre a imprecisão conceitual dos memes de internet (e o que GIFs têm a ver com isso)”. Revista Culturas Midiáticas, João Pessoa, UFPB, v.10, n.1, jan-jun 2017. ISSN 1983-5930. Available in Portuguese: http://periodicos.ufpb.br/index.php/cm/article/view/35067/17930
- (2017) “Uma imagem (em movimento) vale mais do que mil palavras: GIF animado como recurso expressivo”. Revista Communicare, São Paulo, Faculdade Casper Líbero, n.16.2, 2017. ISSN 1676-3475. Available in Portuguese: https://casperlibero.edu.br/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Artigo7.pdf
- (2016) “Conversações Fluidas na Cibercultura”, with Alex Primo, Vanessa Valiati and Laura Barros. Revista Famecos, Porto Alegre, PUCRS, v.24, n.1, jan-apr 2017. ISSN: 1415-0549. Available in Portuguese: http://revistaseletronicas.pucrs.br/ojs/index.php/revistafamecos/article/view/24597/15011
- (2015) “Comunicação Privada na Internet: da invenção do particular na Idade Média à hiperexposição na rede”, with Alex Primo, Vanessa Valiati and Laura Barros. Intexto, Porto Alegre, UFRGS, n.34, p.513-434, set/dez 2015. ISSN: 1807-8583. Available in Portuguese: http://seer.ufrgs.br/index.php/intexto/article/view/58583/35723
- (2015) “A Buzzfeedização do Jornalismo: 5 coisas que você precisa saber sobre o caso Zero Hora”, with Thais Sardá, Camila Cornutti, Gabriela Zago, Vanessa Valiati and Willian Araújo. Lumina, Juiz de Fora, UFJF, v.9, n.2, 2015. ISSN: 1981-4070. Available in Portuguese: https://lumina.ufjf.emnuvens.com.br/lumina/article/view/419/42
- (2019) “The closest thing to teleportation: The concept of liveness in the age of connectivity”. In: Murru, M.F., Colombo, F., Peja, L., Tosoni, S., Kilborn, R., Kunelius, R., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P., Kramp,L., Carpentier, N. (Eds.) Communication as the intersection of the old and the new. ECREA Researching and Teaching Communication. Bremen, Edition Lumière, 2019.
- (2016) “#RIPorkut: a reação dos usuários brasileiros ao fim desse site que a gente conhecia bem e considerava pakas”, with Alex Primo, Vanessa Valiati and Laura Barros. In: Pesquisa, Comunicação e Informação. Nísia Martins do Rosário and Alexandre Rocha da Silva (Editors). Porto Alegre, Editora Sulina, 2016.