Embodying Digital Work on Instagram

Ms Nida Mollison1

1University Of Melbourne


The emergent temporalities and spatialities of digital work are giving rise to new forms of embodiment and new encounters in urban space. This paper explores how changing economies and platforms are transforming the working practices of Melbourne-based feminist artists. This research examines the ways that precarious work is represented, performed and enabled by Instagram, and how this local community of predominantly young women form an intimate public: a micropolitical, embodied context in which these bodies navigate cultural representations. The mobile bodies of these artists become visible and connected through this digital platform, its technologies and the spaces it operates in. This prompts a rethinking of hierarchies of ‘real’ and digital sociality and contributes to debates about labour, urban mobilities, and the micropolitics of space by recontextualising these livelihoods in networked space. This paper will draw on interviews with artists in Melbourne on the themes of creative work, online platforms, community and the city. The politics surrounding this historically precarious creative work are refracted through the immediacy and intimacy of embodied encounters and the circulation and production of this feminist art on Instagram. Through this case study, I will explore the potential of Instagram in producing new spaces, temporalities and capacities.


Nida Mollison BA(Hons) is a PhD candidate at the School of Geography (University of Melbourne). She is a cultural and urban geographer. Her doctoral research explores Melbourne feminist artists’ use of the social media platform Instagram, and how this helps to produce the temporalities and spatialities of their working practices.

Email her at: nmollison@student.unimelb.edu.au

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