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4. Unlearning Imperial Rights to Take (Photographs)

The millions, whose photographs are taken, are not referred to in any meaningful way in the histories and theories of photography. Beaumont Newhall’s The History of Photography is a paradigmatic example. His fourth chapter, for example, is titled “Portraits for the Million.” mehr

Veröffentlicht: 09.10.2018
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3. Unlearning Expertise Knowledge and Unsettling Expertise Positions

Through this combined activity of destroying and manufacturing “new” worlds, people were deprived of an active life and their different activities reduced and mobilized to fit larger schemes of production and world engineering. Through these schemes, different groups of governed peoples were crafted and assigned access to certain occupations, mainly non-skilled labor that in turn enabled the creation of a distinct strata of professions with the vocational purpose of architecting “new” worlds and furnishing them with new technologies. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 28.09.2018
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2. Unlearning Images of Destruction

To take this excursion to 1492 as the origin of photography—exploring this with and through photography—requires one to abandon the imperial linear temporality and the way it separates tenses: past, present, and future. One has to engage with the imperial world from a non-imperial perspective and be committed to the idea of revoking rather than ignoring or denying imperial rights manufactured and distributed as part of the destruction of diverse worlds. In order to clarify this trajectory, I will start with a few photos taken in different times and places, which I propose to explore alongside early accounts of imperial expeditions. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 17.09.2018
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1. Unlearning the Origins of Photography

Imagine that the origins of photography go back to 1492.

What could this mean? First and foremost, that we should unlearn the origins of photography as framed by those who were crowned its inventors and other private and state entrepreneurs, as well as its association with a technology that can be reduced to discrete devices held by individual operators. In The Civil Contract of Photography, I proposed to displace photography’s origins from the realms of technology to the body politic of users and reconstruct from its practices a potential history of photography. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 06.09.2018
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In her series of statements, Ariella Azoulay will depart from the common theories and histories that present photography as a sui generis practice and locate its moment of emergence in the mid-nineteenth century in relation to technological development and male inventors. Instead, she proposes to locate the origins of photography in the “New World,” in the early phases of European colonial enterprise, and study photographs alongside early accounts of imperial expeditions. The posts have their origin in Ariella Azoulay's forthcoming book Potential History: Unlearning Imperialism (New York: Verso, 2019).

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5. Black Visuality

I’d like to begin my final blog post by invoking a prerogative that in many ways has served as its unarticulated guiding principle: the right to articulate an unfinished thought. It’s a prerogative I insist upon as core to my own practice of intellectual inquiry. This blog was intended to function as precisely such an exercise in generative open-ended thinking. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 08.08.2018
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4. Refusal

Much to my delight and relief, I’m finally home. After close to six weeks on the road, my travels have come to an end. But since returning to the welcoming embrace of my husband, friends, dog, cat, and assorted loved ones, I still find myself strangely unsettled. I’m sure this sense of restlessness is the leftover rumble in my head of encounters with so many new people, places, artworks, and perspectives that continue to reverberate in me. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 24.07.2018
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3. Slow Walking

Similar to my last post, this one also finds me in a state of transition. As usual, I’m on a plane. No need to linger on points of departure or arrival. But I will say that I find transit an oddly generative space. Planes and trains, in particular, are like cocoons for me; places where my thoughts tend to gush uncontrollably in the confines of airborne capsules or their earthbound equivalents. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 05.07.2018
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2. Still-Moving-Images

Rereading my last blog post in preparation for the next, I realized that I neglected to include an important note of contextualization. I’m writing this quite literally on the move, or as my father fondly describes it, I am working while ‘galavanting.’ The introduction was composed on a plane and the first post was written in Berlin, a city that was my home for seven formative years. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 19.06.2018
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1. Frequency

A few years ago, in the middle of writing my last book, I asked a former student, a brilliant musicologist named Matthew Morrison, to help me understand the relationship between two terms that formed the bridge for my conception of the link between sound and images: frequency and register. He was finishing his dissertation and apologized profusely for the muddiness of his thinking. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 05.06.2018
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Until the end of July 2018, Tina Campt’s blog posts on “Black Visual Frequency: A Glossary” will seek to define a series of keywords that Campt finds crucial to thinking with, through, and alongside contemporary articulations of black visuality.

glossary: an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms.

“After 20+ years of teaching, I’ve abandoned the obligatory final paper in favor of what I am convinced is a much more generative culminating assignment: a glossary. As a feminist theorist of black visuality, I’m deeply invested in teaching students to define their terms with rigor and precision. It is a commitment that manifests itself in the form of a pedagogical refrain I utter at least once (though often repeatedly) in each and every class. By the end of the semester, my students often zealously parrot it back to me with a welcome combination of conviction and humor: ‘define your terms!’ In keeping with this thoroughly ingrained idiom, my own writing has become characteristically peppered with definitions that epigraphically map the meandering rhythm of my thoughts.

Paying tribute to a particularly inspired group of students I had the pleasure of teaching this semester, this blog joins them in a similarly glossarial undertaking. The posts that follow over the next eight weeks seek to define a series of keywords that I find crucial to thinking with, through, and alongside contemporary articulations of black visuality. They are terms that refuse traditional distinctions among the different sensory registers often assumed to structure the modalities of expression typically assigned to sight, sound, touch, smell or taste. Rather, this glossary ruminates on the frequencies of black visuality and how black visuality registers sonically, haptically, and affectively. My goal is to articulate a vocabulary that enables a more robust dialogue around black visuality – a dialogue that does not reduce this concept to a collection of objects or artists, but engages it as a complex practice of entanglement, implication and aspiration.”

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