The vernacular of photobombing The aesthetics of transgression
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convergence: The international journal of research into new media technologies
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The banal imaging of ourselves and our environments has led to new aesthetic modes where the conventions of imaging, subject–object relationships and what is pleasurable or popular often draw on the ludic, the unexpected or the surprise element. One such image genre is photobombing, where a transgressive object or entity within a conventional image setting subverts it, adding popular appeal through its ability to reconfigure its aesthetic conventions, opening it up for public pleasure and consumption and inscribing it with a possibility of going viral. Photobombing as an image genre online reflects our aesthetic modes and the age of distraction, where the unexpected remains a mode of ocular appeal underscoring the convergence of popular culture and the fluidity of Web 2.0’s convergence architecture. As such, people’s aesthetic modes of the popular can be invented, renewed and subverted with new formats. The phenomenon of photobombing equally affirms the spectacular as a liminal site where pleasure is experienced with the breaking down of norms and the conjoining of a communal gaze through the aesthetics of transgression.
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