MASUDO, NOHUBIRO et al LivingImages Inert Humans.pdf (2.06 MB)
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Living Images, Inert Humans: Vitality of the Images Appearing in Chromatophony and a Wave

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-11-19, 02:23 authored by NOHUBIRO MASUDA, Juppo Yokokawa, Kazuhiro Jo, Yosaku Matsutani, Dark Eden Transdisciplinary Imaging Conference 2020Dark Eden Transdisciplinary Imaging Conference 2020

Since the beginning of this century, several theorists from visual studies as well as the history of art have claimed that the image itself is a living, autonomous organism. For example, W.J.T. Mitchell (2004) argues that the image is a species to biological organisms, of which pictures are a materialized specimen. According to H. Belting (2011), an image that has never been dominated by humans since time immemorial is a living entity that reproduces itself by parasitizing the human body and material media. These points are worth revisiting now, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has triggered such affective reactions as fear and panic. The unseen viruses as quasi-living organisms are transmitted universally via material media as if embodying a habit of the image.

However, if we could compensate for these claims, it would be owing to its lack of a technological perspective. While acknowledging the significance of rethinking images on an anthropological scale, it must be asked how media technologies, such as digital devices and the Internet, operate in this situation. While many platforms have been successively launched by global corporations, constituting a media ecology that controls our mental and physical activities intensively, are these media the best breeding grounds for images, or their predicament to be threatened with contamination or extinction? To explore the possibility of media art, including the works presented below, serving as touchstones to examine these questions, this paper will attempt to map a theoretical perspective on the “Dark Eden,” reconsidered from the standpoint of the image.


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