Still Images?: Materiality and Mobility in Digital Visual Culture Articles uri icon



publication date

  • November 2018

start page

  • 43

end page

  • 57


  • 1


  • 33

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0952-8822


  • Contrary to the discourses that argue that digital culture leads images to dematerialisation, this article approaches the materiality of images, paying attention to the difference between things and objects, and to the concepts of presence and mobility. The materiality of contemporary images lies in how images and imaginaries assume imperatives characteristic of today's capitalism such as participation, connectivity, and performativity. New visual forms such as GIFs, cinemagraphs, and the Live-Photos function of the iPhone embrace those demands. The article distinguishes between an internal and external mobility of images in order to understand how contemporary visual culture generates new material, spatial, and temporal experiences that make it difficult to even maintain the distinction between still and moving images.


  • sergio martinez luna; digital images; digital materiality; thing theory; still images; moving images; photo as thing theory; external; internal mobility; continuous present; presence; materials