The Spatial and Temporal Poetics of Webcam Viewing

Alannah Gunter, Queensland College of Art Part of CW15

This paper will explore the aesthetics of the pixelated scenes relayed across the globe by streaming webcams. It will examine the mesmerising and transportative powers that these shimmering pixels possess – what is it that makes them poetic, and how does this differ from other types of vicarious travel? It will investigate the ways in which our experience of temporal and spatial relationships shift – how our perception of place undergoes a transformation as the line between ‘here’ and ‘there’ becomes blurred and suggest that a new digital and vicarious aesthetic has evolved to exist within the wider context of travel imagery.