Children and computers: collected works (1995–2014)

McMurdo, W. 2015. Children and computers: collected works (1995–2014). PhD thesis University of Westminster Faculty of Media, Arts and Design

TitleChildren and computers: collected works (1995–2014)
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsMcMurdo, W.

This commentary focuses on my photographic and film
work that takes the relationship between children and
computers as its theme. The text opens with a description of my earliest digital research project In a Shaded Place (1995), which explored the introduction of computers into early learning. I then go on to discuss a series of projects that focus similarly on the relationship between children and digital culture from this period to 2014.

Over a series of chapters I discuss my own practice
in relation to the early impact of the computer on
photography, the impact of the introduction of the
Internet on children and the development and impact
of computer gaming on young people. I also discuss
the enduring interest in childhood as a theme in
photography, reflecting on the work of key artists,
curators and writers working in my field whom I have
exhibited and been published alongside over the
period covered by the commentary.

All of the projects included here address the question: How has the computer (and, by extension, the information
age) affected the ways in which we describe and depict
ourselves? Over the period covered by this commentary
there has an unprecedented shift in the understanding
of the role and function of photography. There has also
been a marked shift in attitude to the representation of
the child in society. Both of these subjects have deeply
informed my practice.

I conclude my commentary with a description and analysis
of my 2009 project The Skater and a description of what I perceive as my own contribution to new knowledge, which includes the impact of my work on the understanding of the representation for the child in photography and also its implied critique of the impact of the computer on photography at the beginning of the digital age.


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