Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

Media Studies

Reader 1

Kasper Kovitz

Reader 2

T. Kim-Trang Tran

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Rights Information

© 2020 Sophia L Davirro


As children, we may have collected items around us such as a box of rocks, insects, stuffed animals, stolen items from a sibling’s room, or crayon drawings on sticky pieces of paper. As our curiosity grows, so do our collections, kept in the closet, soon forgotten but forever representative of a specific time in our life. While the types of objects we collect (and the way we collect them) may change, the desire to leave traces of ourselves behind doesn’t.

This project explores cultures of collecting through a digital media lens and examines how digital technology and our culture of consumption have impacted users’ collections and digital archives through online social media platforms. After surveying users’ saved content on Instagram, I have compiled found material to digitally distort and re-contextualize the visual content in the form of an animation. In this paper, I look to the history of collecting and key media theorists to further examine the theoretical background on systems of classification and collecting for my project. I argue that as we collect digital objects they serve as extensions of ourselves, while also contributing to a communal archive of reproduced images that are inherently curated and aestheticized.

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