Videography in consumer culture theory: An account of essence(s) and production

Joel Hietanen

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Liberated into the online virtual spaces through digitalization, video media has become an omnipresent part of our lives. Simultaneously, the videographic method for conducting and expressing ethnographic research has received increasing attention in the field of consumer culture theory (CCT). Yet, as is the usual case with nascent and still marginal research orientations, the publications about the method have been relatively descriptive, and thus have not explored the potential of the approach from a philosophical perspective. This dissertation addresses this gap and develops a possible ontology and epistemology for conducting and expressing research on video media. How is videographic expression different compared to text and photography? What could it be like to experience it? While such a philosophical account of essence(s) in video work in CCT calls for establishment, there is also a need to further consider issues about the production of videographic research on a workbench level, i.e. what the production of such visual ethnographic research is like. In this study an epistemology of videographic relation is constructed, in a bricolage fashion, by adapting ‘postmodern’ perspectives from ‘poststructuralist’, ‘radical humanist’ and a Deleuzian ‘superior empiricist’ perspectives. This Deleuzian approach eschews the objectifying and Cartesian logic of representation and any correspondence between video and a reality that is often attributed to the videographic image. Instead, I will present possibilities for evocative relations of affect and embodiment that have the potential to emancipate thought and thus constitute an efficacious relation towards the world. Adopting key notions from Deleuzian philosophy of cinematography, I will also provide concrete approaches from my three earlier videographic projects, in order to bring these abstract notions into practice by utilizing various aesthetics of the moving image, thus extending the toolkit of aspiring videography researchers in CCT.
Translated title of the contributionVideography in consumer culture theory : an account of essence(s) and production
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Tikkanen, Henrikki, Supervising Professor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-4661-7
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)


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