Warwuyun (worry) in the age of the selfie

The affective power of a photograph is perhaps never more potent than when the subject is a lost loved one, as Roland Barthes famously discussed on contemplating a portrait of his dead mother. This appreciation of the role of photography is harnessed in a new digital artwork by the Miyarrka Media collective which uses family photographs, including many images of deceased family members, as the basis for an interactive digital artwork about the importance of family and feeling in an age of interconnection. 

Warwuyun (worry) is a digital artwork composed of 50 individual photo‑collages made on mobile phones by members of an extended Yolngu family. These images have been remixed, resized, and repurposed by Miyarrka Media in collaboration with HAWRAF, a team of coders and designers from the New Inc. creative incubator established by the New Museum in New York. The result of this production is a giant interactive touch screen, an algorithmic assemblage of photo‑image grids that form and disperse in an ever‑changing, and never repeating, array of colour and pattern. Yet, for the members of Miyarrka Media there is nothing random or, for that matter, inherently digital at work here. Rather, as computer code generates pattern out of pattern, individuals and family groups become visibly located in a wider matrix of belonging.

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