'We Can Be Heros' by Ben Valentine in The New Inquiry

'Since the advent of photography, we have craved cameras that let us capture our adventures and experiences without interfering in them, letting us seek the best images to become our memories. Even when cameras weighed 10 pounds, they were still marketed for their mobility and durability. GoPro, as an ultralight panoramic HD camera designed to be worn rather than pointed and operated, is in some ways the logical culmination of this desire. Its definitive feature is the ease with which it can be strapped on or mounted to surfboards, dashboards or foreheads to permit constant and thought-free filming.

But as the means for sharing images has expanded along with the means for capturing them, the expectations we have of photography have shifted. Photos no longer merely document future memories; they define present lifestyles. They circulate and establish personal identity. Engagement with an experience and documenting it are no longer competing impulses, if they ever were — instead they are simultaneous and mutually constitutive.'

Read the full essay here.