Understanding Indexical Practice
Much of the significance of human engagements with media result from the semiotic process of indexicality – meaning something by being connected to it. This paper argues for placing indexicality at the heart of any study of media practices, both studies of performance and imaginative engagements. The rise of new media, in which to own the means of consumption is to own the means of production, and social media, in which linking is the heart of the practices, has only increased the importance of indexicality as the central semiotic process in media practices. Drawing examples from fieldwork in Egypt, this paper is a programmatic call for an anthropology of media that puts indexicality at the center.