UCL Anthropology


Andrea Lathrop

Andrea Lathrop

UCL Email: andrea.ligueros.14@ucl.ac.uk
Websites: https://ucl.academia.edu/AndreaLigueros
Year of Start: 2016
Supervisors: Christopher Pinney and Hannah Knox (co supervisors)
Subject: MVC
Fieldsite: London, Vienna.

PhD Research

Media Temporality and the persistence of Polaroid in the Digital Age.

My research explores questions of materiality, media, and time in relation to the current Polaroid practice, expressed in both online communities and local ones. By displaying a multi-sited ethnographic methodology, and intersecting digital anthropology, media and material anthropology, as well as STS, this thesis analyses the network of production, consumption, and circulation of the media today. It looks at the Polaroid ‘revival’ phenomenon through ideas of media obsolescence, persistence, and integration in order to grasp the communities and processes in which Polaroid practice is embedded.

Through the analysis of the different digital platforms in which Polaroid practice is consumed and circulated, such as Facebook and Ebay, this research seeks to contribute to the understanding of media technologies not only as transmitters of content but also as enablers of sociality, and in which this sociality is fundamental for securing the necessary resources to secure the maintenance of old media practices. 

By reading Polaroid media technology as a continuum as opposed to old against the grain of the new, my research looks to distance itself from other analogue revival studies that circumscribed the phenomenon to nostalgia tropes and depict most users of these technologies through romantic discourses of past times, to approach a broader and more integrated understanding of media and practitioners as inhabiting a complex landscape that integrates both analogue and digital technologies. With this in mind, this research rather than focusing on fetishizing the past, looks into the present and future of analogue media technologies and the way in which they dialogue with digital ones through different sites and processes that practitioners are inscribed.

Research interests

  • Visual Culture, Photography, Contemporary Art
  • Material and Media Anthropology
  • Media Archaeology, STS, Digital Anthropology
  • Material Obsolescence, rubbish, trash, analogue and digital technologies.

Presentations & Conferences

2018     Material Culture Day, Anthropology, UCL.

2017     Artefacts’ own time. An analysis on Ebay as a recirculation platform. Paper read at the 15th Network of European Cinema and Media Studies (NECs) Graduate Workshop: Future Sensibilities: Mediations of Precarious Life. Université Paris Diderot, Paris 7, Paris, France

2016     Polaroid practice in the digital age. A brief analysis on Polaroid revival. Paper read at the 14th Network of European Cinema and Media Studies (NECs) Graduate Workshop: Return of the living-dead media: Media Cultures of Persistence, Resistance and Residue, held at “In/between: cultures of connectivity ― The NECS 2016 Conference”, Postdam, Germany.

Teaching Experience

2019 Material Culture Tester Workshop for Year 10, 11 students, Anthropology, UCL.

2018 – present. Teaching Assistant ‘Art in the Public Sphere’, Anthropology, UCL.

2017 – 2018. Teaching Assistant ‘Introduction to Material Culture’, Anthropology, UCL.

Education History

2016 – 2020 PhD in Anthropology, UCL

2014 – 2015 MA in Material and Visual Culture, UCL

2011 Postgraduate Diploma in Film Theory, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

2007 – 2010 BA in Art History and Theory, Universidad de Chile

Honours, Awards & Funding

CONICYT Scholarship (Chile) – PhD Studies Abroad

CONICYT Scholarship (Chile) – MA Studies Abroad

Additional Information

Prior of coming to the UCL for my MA degree I was the co-editor (and previously writer) of ‘Arte y Critica Art Magazine’ (2014 – 2016), an art magazine that covered Chilean and Latin American contemporary art practices. I also worked as a lecturer in several universities in Santiago in Art related degrees teaching Contemporary Arts from a theoretical perspective (2011 – 2014). Furthermore, I taught a course in Art and Cinema Modernity at a Film Theory postgraduate diploma (2012 – 2014). Finally, I also worked as a research assistant in different art related projects, among them, “Clip, Stamp, Fold: Architecture as a Social Transformation” (Chilean magazine research for the Beatriz Colomina curatorial Project itinerancy in Chile. 2013 - 2014).