Dashcams are responsible for capturing some of the most bizarre content that goes viral on the internet. Through the dashcam apparatus, motorists capture unexpected incidents both relating to and outside of the flow of traffic. Dashcams account for a dominant place in the consumer landscape of video and photography today, and this article represents one of the first attempts to theorize dashcam media within the history of cinema and photography. I question how the dashcam and its associated filming practices distance the camera’s physical orientation from the user’s eye. The camera is not directly controlled by the user’s hand-eye, but instead operates through the surrogate of the automobile. In other words, the motorist is not the filmmaker. Dashcam media epitomizes the wasteful whimsy of digital filmmaking and digital photography, whose technological advances in flash storage have enabled users to no longer economize precious film stock. Dashcam footage, in its ideal form, will never be watched, but deleted and re-recorded as motorists collect digital evidence of their daily drives. The article forwards the notion that dashcam media allows us to challenge a long held notion that film and media exist primarily in order to be seen.

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