Showing ‘digital’ objects in web-based video chats as a collaborative achievement

Laura Rosenbaun and Christian Licoppe
University of Haifa, Israel | Telecom ParisTech, France

Abstract

Showing material objects by bringing them to the camera or turning the camera toward them are pervasive practices in domestic and recreational video-mediated communication (VMC). We here discuss a set of specific showing practices characteristic of digitally embedded video-mediated settings, which may be called ‘digital showings’. These involve participants’ collaboration to retrieve a digital object so as to ensure a shared perceptual experience on screen of said object. We draw on data from multiparty Google Hangouts On Air (HOAs) to show that while digital and material showings share an overall sequential organization, the former display the emergence of unique collaborative practices that at times become collective performances of computer literacy. We focus on three instances of digital showings: (a) screenshares of pictures – showing an image by sharing one’s screen; (b) screenshares of videos – showing a running video by sharing one’s screen; and (c) link-share showings – showing by sharing the link to a showable content that may be independently retrieved while experienced jointly.

Keywords
Table of contents

Showing sequences in which co-participants make accessible to others a given behavior, person, or detail in their environment, are a common practice in domestic and recreational video-mediated communication (VMC). We use the notion of ‘showing’ as an umbrella term to gloss a set of practices through which some particular feature of the environment that is initially unequally available in perceptual terms to all co-participants, is made into a relevant ‘showable’ and manipulated so as to be reshaped into a joint focus of attention. Leveling the visual field and redressing the inequality in perceptual access is a core feature of ‘showings’. It is this manipulative work or ‘placing’ objects in a common perceptual field (Clark 2003) and the access imbalance it indexes what differentiates ‘showing’ from ‘pointing’. In the latter, the relevant feature (the ‘pointable’) is often presumed to be available in the environment (Kita 2003). However, as interactional achievements, pointing and showing practices display a resemblance: (a) both are embodied, multimodal practices in which material features in the environment are turned into interactional resources; (b) even in pointing, some orientation work is often needed to ensure the pointed feature becomes a joint focus of attention; and (c) the embodied work involved in pointing (Goodwin 2003; Heath & Von Lehn 2004), as well as that involved in showing (Licoppe & Morel, 2014), are co-emergent and mutually elaborated along the concurrent talk-in-interaction.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

References

Aaltonen, T., I. Arminen, and A. Raudaskoski
2014 “Photo Sharing as a Joint Activity Between an Aphasic Speaker and Others.” In Interacting with Objects: Language, Materiality, and Social Activity, ed. by M. Nevile, P. Haddington, T. Heinemann, and M. Rauniomaa, 125–144. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 125–144.
Buhler, T., C. Neustaedter, and S. Hillman
2013 “How and why Teenagers Use Video Chat.” Proceedings of the 2013 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 759–768.
Clark, H.
2003 “Pointing and Placing.” In Pointing. Where Language, Culture and Cognition Meet, ed. by S. Kita, 243–268. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
Chovanec, J., and A. Novaka
2010 “Online Discussion and Interaction: The Case of Live Text Commentary.” In Cases in Online Discussion and Interaction, ed. by Leonard Shedletsky, and Joan E. Aitken, 234–251. Hershey: IGI Publishing. https://doi.org/10.4018/978‑1‑61520‑863‑0.ch012
Goodwin, C.
2000a “Action and Embodiment within Situated Human Interaction.” Journal of Pragmatics 32 (10): 1489–1522. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378‑2166(99)00096‑X
2000b “Practices of Seeing. Visual Analysis: An Ethnomethodological Approach.” In Handbook of Visual Analysis, ed. by T. van Leeuwen, and C. Jewitt, 157–182. London: Sage Publications.
2003 “Pointing as Situated Practice.” In Pointing. Where Language, Culture and Cognition Meet, ed. by S. Kita, 217–241. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
2013 “The Co-operative, Transformative Organization of Human Action and Knowledge.” Journal of Pragmatics 46 (1): 8–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.09.003
Google
2014User Content and Conduct Policy. Retrieved from www.google.com/​+/​policy/​content.html
Heath, C., and P. Luff
1991 “Disembodied Conduct: Communication through Video in a Multi-Media Office Environment.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 99–103.
1992 “Collaboration and Control: Crisis Management and Multimedia Technology in London Underground Line Control Rooms.” Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) 1 (1–2): 69–94. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00752451
Heath, C., and D. Von Lehn
2004 “Configuring Reception. (Dis-)Regarding the ‘Spectator’ in Museums and Galleries.” Theory, Culture & Society 21 (6): 43–65. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276404047415
Heritage, J.
1984 “A Change-of-State Token and Aspects of its Sequential Placement. Structures of Social Action.” In Structures of Social Action, ed. by J. M. Atkinson, and J. Heritage, 299–345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kita, S.
2003Pointing. Where Language, Culture and Cognition Meet. Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum.
Licoppe, C., and J. Morel
2012 “Video-in-Interaction:“Talking Heads” and the Multimodal Organization of Mobile and Skype Video Calls.” Research on Language & Social Interaction 45 (4): 399–429. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.724996
2014 “Mundane Video Directors in Interaction: Showing one’s Environment in Skype and Mobile Video Calls.” Studies of Video Practices: Video at Work, 135–160. London: Routledge.
Litt, E.
2012 “Knock, Knock. Who’s there? The Imagined Audience.” Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 56 (3): 330–345. https://doi.org/10.1080/08838151.2012.705195
Luff, P., C. Heath, H. Kuzuoka, J. Hindmarsh, K. Yamazaki, and S. Oyama
2003 “Fractured Ecologies: Creating Environments for Collaboration.” In Human Computer Interaction, 51–84. https://doi.org/10.1207/S15327051HCI1812_3
Mondada, L.
2011 “Understanding as an Embodied, Situated and Sequential Achievement in Interaction.” Journal of Pragmatics 43 (2): 542–552. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.08.019
2013 “Embodied and Spatial Resources for Turn-Taking in Institutional Multi-Party Interactions: Participatory Democracy Debates.” Journal of Pragmatics 46 (1): 39–68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.03.010
Nissenbaum, H.
2009Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
O’Hara, K., A. Black, and M. Lipson
2006 “Everyday Practices with Mobile Video Telephony.” Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 871–880. https://doi.org/10.1145/1124772.1124900
Oviatt, S.
1999 “Ten Myths of Multimodal Interaction.” Communications of the ACM 42 (11): 74–81. https://doi.org/10.1145/319382.319398
Pomerantz, A.
1984 “Agreeing and Disagreeing with Assessments: Some Features of Preferred/Dispreferred Turn Shapes.” In Structures of Social Action, ed. by J. M. Atkinson, and J. Heritage, 57–101. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Raymond, G.
2003 “Grammar and Social Organization: Yes/No Interrogatives and the Structure of Responding.” American Sociological Review 939–967. https://doi.org/10.2307/1519752
Rintel, S.
2013 “Tech-Tied or Tongue-Tied? Technological versus Social Trouble in Relational Video Calling.” 2013 46th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 3343–3352. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2013.512
Robles, E., J. Raclaw, and S. M. DiDomenico
2016 “Mobile Phones as an Interactional Resource in Assessment Activities.” (forthcoming).
Rosenbaun, L., S. Rafaeli, and D. Kurzon
2016a “Participation Frameworks in Multiparty Video Chats: Cross-Modal Exchanges in Public Google Hangouts.” Journal of Pragmatics 94: 29–46. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2016.01.003
2016b “Blurring the Boundaries Between Domestic and Digital Spheres: Competing Engagements in Public Google Hangouts.” Pragmatics 26(2):291–314. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.26.2.05ros
Sacks, H.
1992Lectures on conversation, ed. by G. Jefferson. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Watson, R.
1997 “Some General Reflections on ‘Categorization’ and ‘Sequence’ in the Analysis of Conversation.” In Culture in Action. Studies in Membership Categorization Analysis, ed. by S. Hester, and P. Eglin, 49–75. Washington: International Institute for Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis & University Press of America.
Weilenmann, A., and C. Larsson
2001 “ Local Use and Sharing of Mobile Phones.” In Wireless World: Social and Interactional Aspects of the Mobile Age, ed. by B. Brown, N. Green, and R. Harper, 92–107. London: Springer-Verlag.