Lab Report

Mobile Innovation Network Aotearoa (MINA) is an international network to promote cultural and research activities that examine and expand the emerging possibilities of mobile media in New Zealand and internationally. MINA aims to explore the possibilities of interaction between people, content and the emerging mobile industry. Simultaneously MINA provides an opportunity for audiences, spanning community groups to industry consultancy, to engage with new developments in the field of mobile media. Following on from the International Mobile Innovation Screening 2011 and the MINA Mobile Creativity and Innovation Symposium 2011, the MINA research cluster hosted another international symposium in conjunction with second International Mobile Creativity and Mobile Innovation Showcase, in November 2012 at the New Zealand Film Archive in Wellington. The 3rd and 4th edition of MINA Symposium took place in Auckland at AUT University.

Small screen and big screen: Mobile film-making in Australasia
Max RC Schleser, Massey University
Gavin Wilson, York St John University
Dean Keep, Swinburne University of Technology


Over the past decade, technological advances have enabled the transformation of mobile phones with built-in cameras into sophisticated digital media tools (smartphones), capable of recording, editing and sharing high definition video content across global communication networks. Advances in smartphone technologies, and in particular increased lens quality, data memory and improved camera functionality, have arguably contributed to the emergence of a new kind of film-maker who recognizes and exploits the creative potential presented by camera phones. In this article, the authors will examine the challenges and perceived opportunities for film-makers using camera phones in an Australasian media context, including the ways in which camera phones may facilitate innovative practices around the production, sharing and viewing of digital films. The subsequent emergence of dedicated festivals for the screening of video content captured on camera phones is driving interest in new forms, new genres and new practices in film-making. We outline ways in which these festivals provide ‘amateur’ and independent film-makers, along with audiences, with a vital platform to initiate discussion, debate and the sharing of video content produced by film-makers from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Mobile media, participation culture and the digital vernacular: and the democratization of documentary
Richard Vickers, University of Lincoln


This article discusses the convergence of media technologies, participation culture and the new vernacular of mobile device photography. The author and Lincoln School of Media colleague, James Field, are developing a participatory interactive documentary project entitled (, exploring new opportunities for participation, collaboration and the potential democratization of documentary production. Utilizing user-generated video captured on mobile phones and smart devices, the project is participatory whereby the audience contributes documentary videos around the theme of 24 hours in a city or location. With reference to Džiga Vertov’s seminal 1929 documentary film Man with a Movie Camera, the intention is for the videos to document the cities, the people that live there and their daily lives. The aim of the project is to have an open and collaborative platform to which anyone can contribute; for the audience as ‘user-producers’ to document their city or location, the people that live there and their daily lives. Building on Vertovian concepts, the project explores the potential the ubiquitous camera-phone ‘eye’ may offer for a unique and cumulative version of ‘cinema-truth’ to emerge. By exploring a model of participation we have moved away from the authorship of a single person towards mass authorship and a collaborative montage vision, and in doing so revisit Vertov’s aspirations for the democratization not just of technology but also of creativity.

The panorama between mobile visual platforms is a sentimental bond
Gaby David, EHESS

Technically, mobile images belong to the ‘point-and-shoot’ tradition. In this scheme, mobile visual applications have facilitated changes in both the aesthetic qualities of mobile images and their effortless sharing. This mobile technology has developed hand-in-hand with its many different imaginable uses; for instance, mobile modalities allowing families and friends to communicate enable the formation of strong audio-visual bonds. This type of ‘mobile visual habitus’ is created through various sharing channels and can activate creativity, affection and social networks. Taking into account the intimacy involved in the use of mobile visual apps, this article seeks to shed light on aspects of this everyday affective mobile visual usage. How does mobile technology change our relationships with our own mobile visualities, our strong ties (i.e., bonds with friends and family), and thus our own audio-visual private history construction and those of our loved ones? As this question is overly broad, no exact answer or position can be determined. Nevertheless, through micro-social networking examples, I intend to analyse how usage of mobile visual apps will continue to change, influencing and enlarging possible methods of communication and engagement through and with private mobile images. These overarching practices will definitely continue to have an increasing impact in connection with broader cultural and social changes.

Remediating Vertov: Man with a movie camera phone
Dean Keep, Swinburne University
Marsha Berry, RMIT University

Using Džiga Vertov’s seminal experimental film Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929), as the central text for this practice-led research, the authors have produced short experimental video works that explore cities through the lens of the mobile phone-camera. In this article the authors investigate the creative possibilities of camera-phone technology, and how in turn these technologies may extend or give rise to new modes of experimental and/or hybrid cinematic forms. With particular reference to the authors’ mobile videos (Spatial Threshold and Lifts), this article discusses the aesthetics, constraints and opportunities presented by camera-phone technologies and how these factors may influence the production of experimental mobile video.