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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathInstant Images

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individual text or image that is central, but that which occurs between them. Accordingly, the game consists of producing additional images («shoot»), accumulating them («upload»), and making them available by means of a keyword search as well as allowing them to appear in more and more collated lists («share»). What is shared are not memories or ‹views,› but a collective, momentary game experience that revolves «passionately around the figures of the pointless and superfluous.» [34] From this perspective, the sheer incommensurable quantity of images makes sense: They are the stake, the «figure of the pointless» itself, which keeps the game going performatively.


But what is really at stake? A preliminary answer would be: lifestyles. Lomo’s message of practicing a photographic style of real life can also be understood as the production of a ‹real lifestyle.› According to the specific aspects of the Internet put forward by Lev Manovich, it is one of the basic principles of new, computer-based media to supply lifestyles through variability: «In a postindustrial society, every citizen


can construct her own custom lifestyle and ‹select› her ideology from a large (but not infinite) number of choices.… Every visitor to a Web site automatically gets her own custom versions of the site created on the fly from a database.» [35] In defiance of all metaphors of friendship—or even better: precisely within a friendly community—the variable interfaces on the Web sites, on which, e.g., at Flickr a new leitmotif appears with every reload, the «hottest tags» are updated daily, and newly received comments about one's own images are displayed, always addressing the consumer. In this respect, the vanishing point of the everyday practice of photography is not, or no longer, familiality, but the playful and fun-oriented negotiation of tags or labels that mark temporary membership in a group. A community online game does not predestine the aesthetization of the images, but of life. An aesthetization that is not carried out outside the realm of economic interests, by which the boundaries of sharing become visible: Both and Flickr offer the licensing of images placed on their sites. [36] In view of these shifts from the figure of the photographic image as a cause for memory activity

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