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Communicating emotions and pain in the digital age
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Music and Art.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2071-349X
2013 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Photographs showing words cut into the skin constitute a special category of images of self-cutting that can be seen on the internet today. The words are often related to anger, suffering and agony. As I showed in a quantitative study that included over 6 000 six thousand self-injury images, cutting words into one’s own skin might be quite common among self-injurers. Approximately fifteen per cent of the images in the study depicted words mediated through lacerations, blood and scars.

This material raises important questions about how emotions and feelings are experienced and manifested in different modes. Self-cutting involves both the visual perceived cuts and the nerve transmitted nociceptive experiences of pain. Manifestations that are perceivable by the cutter themselves. But what happens when these manifestations are photographed and published on worldwide networks, and thus become part of collective experiences? These experience are becoming the discursive tool for the production of and negotiations about the meaning of self-cutting (for instance in self-injury communities) in particular but also about the meaning of bodies, emotions and pain on a more general level.

In this paper I will argue that the media involved in this production of meaning are integrated with each other – they are in symbiosis – to use Varga’s typology. This symbiosis becomes part of a unification of individual bodies that are interacting with each other and thus creating a collective body, with a collective understanding of its emotions and pains. During this process, the individual physical experience of a body is united with a virtual body experience through the interface of the screen. This is a unification that will probably reconstruct the meaning of emotion and pain in the digital age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013.
National Category
Cultural Studies
Research subject
Humanities
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-30959OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-30959DiVA, id: diva2:676364
Conference
Rethinking Intermediality in the Digital Age, The innaugural conference of ISIS (International Society for Intermedial Studies), Cluj-Napoca, October 24-26, 2013
Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2016-05-03Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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