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2. Picturing Computation

In my last post I suggested the screenshot exemplified the latest iteration of a much broader technique for the secondary mediation of an existing visual medium, one which has risen to prominence over the past forty years as part of the convergence of all visual media with the screens of modern computational devices. In this post I want to move away from broad generalizations and ask what the screenshot is as a material practice tied to computation as a distinct technical form. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 10.06.2019
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1. Techniques for Secondary Mediation

Screenshots are the snapshots of our computers. They capture the movement and forms of everyday life as it is lived through the interface of a computational device. Given the trend, since at least the 1970s, toward media convergence, in which existing media forms are subsumed and transformed by digitization, today most any medium or practice that can be displayed on a computer screen may therefore be captured as a screenshot. mehr

Veröffentlicht: 29.05.2019
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Aus der Series
Screens Shot

Until mid-July, Jacob Gaboury's blog series will engage the screenshot as a contemporary photographic object and vernacular practice for the documentation and preservation of computational interaction. Screenshots are one of the most pervasive forms of computational photography today, but their application is wildly variable and largely dependent on the cultures of use in which they are situated. To understand the screenshot as a unified technique for the mediation of computational systems, this series traces the multiple and competing histories of the screenshot and its evolution alongside the graphical computer throughout the 20th century. Ultimately these posts examine the screenshot as a window into the mundane and vernacular cultures of everyday computing.

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5. Unlearning Imperial Sovereignties

Cameras are a product of imperialism’s scopic regime. However, imperial rights are not fully inscribed in the device. The unifocality of the camera and what Aïm Deüelle Lüski calls its verticality partition the space where it is located into what or who is “in front of it” and what or who is “behind it.” mehr

Veröffentlicht: 24.10.2018
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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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