The Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination by Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf

675a18aee9b7126-261x361.jpg Author Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf
Isbn 415516943
File size 5.4MB
Year 2009
Pages 386
Language English
File format PDF
Category art


Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination Routledge Research in Cultural and Media Studies 1. Video, War and the Diasporic Imagination Dona Kolar-Panov 2. Reporting the Israeli-Arab Conflict How Hegemony Works Tamar Liebes 3. Karaoke Around the World Global Technology, Local Singing Edited by Toru Mitsui and Shuhei Hosokawa 4. News of the World World Cultures Look at Television News Edited by Klaus Bruhn Jensen 5. From Satellite to Single Market New Communication Technology and European Public Service Television Richard Collins 6. The Nationwide Television Studies David Morley and Charlotte Bronsdon 7. The New Communications Landscape Demystifying Media Globalization Edited by Georgette Wang 8. Media and Migration Edited by Russel King and Nancy Wood 9. Media Reform Edited by Beata Rozumilowicz and Monroe E. Price 10. Political Communication in a New Era Edited by Gadi Wolfsfeld and Philippe Maarek 11. Writers’ Houses and the Making of Memory Edited by Harald Hendrix 12. Autism and Representation Edited by Mark Osteen 13. American Icons The Genesis of a National Visual Language Benedikt Feldges 14. The Practice of Public Art Edited by Cameron Cartiere and Shelly Willis 15. Film and Television After DVD Edited by James Bennett and Tom Brown 16. The Places and Spaces of Fashion, 1800–2007 Edited by John Potvin 17. Communicating in the Third Space Edited by Karin Ikas and Gerhard Wagner 18. Deconstruction After 9/11 Martin McQuillan 19. The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero Edited by Angela Ndalianis 20. Mobile Technologies From Telecommunications to Media Edited by Gerard Goggin & Larissa Hjorth 21. Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination The Image between the Visible and the Invisible Edited by Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination The Image between the Visible and the Invisible Edited by Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf New York London First published 2009 by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2009 Taylor & Francis Typeset in Sabon by IBT Global. Printed and bound in the United States of America on acid-free paper by IBT Global. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark Notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Dynamics and performativity of imagination : the image between the visible and the invisible / edited by Bernd Hüppauf and Christoph Wulf. p. cm. — (Routledge research in cultural and media studies ; 21) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Image (Philosophy) 2. Imagination. I. Hüppauf, Bernd-Rüdiger. II. Wulf, Christoph, 1944– B105.I47D96 2009 128'.3—dc22 2008034877 ISBN10: 0-415-99093-9 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-99093-6 (hbk) Contents List of Figures Acknowledgments 1 Introduction: The Indispensability of the Imagination xi xiii 1 BERND HUPPAUF AND CHRISTOPH WULF PART I Imagination, Fantasy and Creativity 2 Introduction 21 Imagination 25 GERT MATTENKLOTT 3 Aesthetic Immanence 42 GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAN 4 Imagination, Figurality and Creativity: Conditions of Cultural Innovation 56 DIETER MERSCH 5 Intuition and Imagination: How to See Something that is Not There 65 LUDGER SCHWARTE PART II A Look at Pictures—Pictures Look Back 6 Introduction 79 What Is: Seeing an Image? 81 MARIE JOSÉ MONDZAIN viii Contents 7 The Gaze in the Image: A Contribution to an Iconology of the Gaze 93 HANS BELTING 8 Imagination or Response?: Some Remarks on the Understanding of Images and Pictures in Pre-modern China 116 MATHIAS OBERT 9 The Nature of Face Recognition: A Perspective from the Cognitive Neurosciences 135 DAVID POEPPEL AND CLARE STROUD PART III Body Images and Body Imaginations Introduction 10 The Neapolitan Gesture 155 157 GUNTER GEBAUER 11 Images of Social Life 166 CHRISTOPH WULF 12 Performative Spaces and Imagined Spaces: How Bodily Movement Sets the Imagination in Motion 178 ERIKA FISCHER-LICHTE 13 Media Images, Sports Rituals and the Imaginary 188 K. LUDWIG PFEIFFER 14 Ferocious Images 202 PETER SLOTERDIJK PART IV Indeterminacy and Fuzziness of Images Introduction 15 Indeterminacy: On the Logic of the Image GOTTFRIED BOEHM 217 219 Contents ix 16 Between Imitation and Simulation: Towards an Aesthetics of Fuzzy Images 230 BERND HUPPAUF 17 A Small History (of) Still Passing 254 REBECCA SCHNEIDER 18 Scribbling, Scraping off, Painting over: Effacing Pictures in Literary Texts 270 GABRIELE BRANDSTETTER 19 Kierkegaard’s Shadow Figures 283 MARTIN PUCHNER PART V Constructions of the Visual Introduction 20 The Unspeakable and the Unimaginable: Word and Image in a Time of Terror 297 299 W. J. T. MITCHELL 21 Face and Mass: Towards an Aesthetic of the Cross-Cut in Film 314 GERTRUD KOCH 22 Synaesthesia: Physiological Diagnosis, Practice of Perception, Art Program: A Semiotic Re-analysis 323 ROLAND POSNER AND DAGMAR SCHMAUKS 23 Recognisability and Visual Evidence in Medical Imaging versus Scientific Objectivity 339 BRITTA SCHINZEL Notes on Contributors Index 357 365 Figures 7.1 Man Ray, Portrait of Jean Cocteau (1922). 98 7.2 Parmigianino, Self-portrait in front of convex mirror, 1523. 99 7.3 Jan Vermeer, De Schilderkonst, 1665. 100 7.4 Velazquez, Las Meninas, 1656. 103 7.5 Hanging of Las Meninas, Prado, 2003. 104 7.6 Rembrandt, Bathseba, 1653. 109 7.7 Georges de la Tour, Le Tricheur. 110 7.8 Amédée Van Loo, Soap Bubbles, 1764. 111 7.9 Amédée Van Loo, Laterna Magica, 1764. 112 9.1 The two images in (a) illustrate the difficulty in recognizing an inverted face, even if the image is frequently encountered (Paul McCartney). The images in (b) show that even coarse and grotesque distortions do not jump out at the viewer when the facial image is inverted (John Lennon). 139 9.2 A view of the left hemisphere of the human brain. 143 9.3 Gabriele Leidloff, “Ugly Casting 1.6.”, 1997/2006. 144 9.4 The effect of spatial frequency fi ltering on images of a face and an object. 144 15.1 Paul Cézanne, La Montagne Sainte Victoire, 1904–1906. 221 15.2 Claude Monet, Beneath Lemon Trees, 1884, Kopenhagen. 223 15.3 Mark Tobey, Autumnal Light, 1965. 224 xii 16.1 Figures Jorma Puranen: Shadows, Reflections and all that sort of things 17, 2001. 231 Cover of an exhibition catalogue (2003) entitled Comrade God—Stalin (“Genosse Gott—Stalin”). 237 Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879): Portrait of her niece, Julia Jackson. 243 16.4 Gabriele Leidloff: “X-ray film-strip”, 1997. 249 16.5 Michael Wesely: Potsdamer Platz 1997–2001. 250 16.2 16.3 Acknowledgments Many articles in this book are based on contributions to a conference which took place in October 2005 at the Deutsches Haus of New York University. We would like to acknowledge the generous fi nancial support of various institutions, namely, the Collaborative Research Center Kulturen des Performativen of the Freie Universität Berlin, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) New York, and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of New York University. Without their support this book would have been impossible to realise. Furthermore, we would like to thank all translators of the articles as well as Dr. Gilbert Meyns and Deidre Winter for their dedicated editorial work. We are grateful to Dr. Michael Sonntag for supervising the preparation of the manuscript and the illustrations. We owe thanks to Erica Wetter, Routledge Publishers, for her support and Dr. Reimer Zons, head of the publishing house Wilhelm Fink. Bernd Huppauf, New York Christoph Wulf, Berlin 1 Introduction The Indispensability of the Imagination Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf 1 ABSENCE OF THE IMAGINATION When one considers the semantics of the current debate on images and the iconic turn, it may seem anachronistic to refer to the imagination. This book wants to turn this anachronism into a provocation. The imagination is absent from current discourse on images and imagery and this is not a matter of semantics but is the result of specific interpretations of and attitudes towards images. These interpretations do not form a homogenous group, but are guided by different intentions and objectives. Most are informed by scientific ideals and share a common aversion to the imagination. This, it seems to us, is the result of a certain understanding of the concept of the image and of contempt for the imagination. We briefly address both of these aspects and then suggest how the imagination’s relationship to the image might be reconsidered, including technologically advanced constructions that have little in common with traditional images and which, in spite of their playing with the very possibility of representation, retain a remnant of the images’ claim to representation. We wish to argue that computergenerated digital constructions must be included within the concept of the image and that these, as all images, need the productive imagination. 2 IMAGINATION The imagination’s bad reputation has a history that is much older than its recent decline that is inked to a new ascent of naturalism. The imagination was abused at times for political and anti-political purposes and, as a result, has fallen out of favour in theories of perception and public discourse. In the aftermath of the radical sixties, scepticism towards the social and political power of the imagination became popular. A political interpretation of the imagination created great expectations but they, it turned out, were mistaken. The aphorism of the late sixties, greeted with enthusiasm and repeated ad nauseam “L’imagination au pouvoir!”, was renounced as an illusion. Shortlived euphoria gave way to disillusionment. The imagination seemed to be 2 Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf a miss-fit in modern societies. False hopes needed to be acknowledged and were replaced by pragmatic concepts adapted to the requirements of reality, its competition and speed and the new computerization of private and business life. The imperatives of economic rationality and market principles soon came to power and superseded old-fashioned imagination.1 As far as public discourse on perception and the image is concerned, the current domination of the sciences has even less tolerance for the imagination. The latter has the ring of speculation and romanticism. Experimental theories of perception and cognition, the neural sciences and technologies of the media seem much more promising and productive in terms of theorizing visual perception and answering the question of what an image is than a return to the long and dubious history of the imagination. The imagination has had an uneven and controversial history in the modern period. For most of the time it was considered secondary and ancillary and sometimes even a dangerous human faculty. It was condemned as the origin of idolatry and in early Christianity its product, the “cupiditas oculorum”, was believed to separate man from God. In the intellectual battles of the age of reason the imagination came under attack as the apparent opposite of reason and was suspected of favouring the non-rational human faculties and perpetuating a tradition of perception and imaging that was considered obsolete. It was placed among the weaknesses of the human nature and, at the same time, seen as an origin of the fear of losing control over reality. It seemed irreconcilable with the ideal of self-determination through the production of knowledge in scientific disciplines. In his Critique of Reason (1781/87), Kant writes of the imagination’s wrongs. He warns that the unrestrained imagination is insanity’s close neighbour and that it has the power to play with human beings, and the unfortunate person who is driven by the imagination loses control over him- or herself. He demands its “domestication”. In the course of the 18th century this assessment changed. In conjunction with the late 18thcentury re-evaluation of the emotions and the senses, the imagination was rehabilitated. Theories based on an anti-Cartesian reading of Spinoza evolved that credited the imagination with emancipation and freedom, and it was linked to the image of an independent self as creator of new worlds. The overheated theories of the late 18th century about man as god-like genius and the Promethean power of creation were a consequence of this fundamental re-evaluation of the imagination. Kant’s writings are a good example of this shift. His takes issue with the sensualist (Hume) conception of a combinatory imagination that is identified with an extended memory. His fi rst Critique introduces the term “productive imagination”. He defi nes it as a precondition for forming images of the real and his anthropological treatises elaborate the imagination’s productivity. It was adopted as a key concept in Romantic theories of creativity and was elevated to the status of a universal ideal. Schelling and other philosophers and writers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries made an Introduction 3 attempt to reverse the derogatory view of the imagination by crediting it with the secularised divine power of creation and gave equal prominence to its dark and destructive powers, as associated with E. T. A. Hoffmann, William Blake, Charles Baudelaire, Edgar A. Poe, and others. This line of thinking, critical of scientific progress and often associated with an openly anti-modern confrontation, moved the imagination, together with the world of dreams and reveries, to the centre of the defi nition of the human. The imagination was seen as the faculty for imaging what cannot be seen, potentiality, and it also had the potential to create new worlds born of mental images. It needs to be emphasized that this remained an undercurrent of European thought. It was and remains a minority position in philosophy and literature and in the theory of art. In the age of science and technology, the imagination was an illegitimate power associated with disturbing implications. It challenged the basic maxims of a culture dominated by science which, consequently, remained adverse to the vagaries of the imagination. It was a touchstone for the separation of the two cultures later diagnosed by C. P. Snow (1962). In the current period of stunning progress in the technological means of creating images that in medicine, astronomy, particle physics and other sciences make a reality hidden from the eye visible for analysis, it may sound like intellectual folly to return to this dubious concept of the imagination impregnated with Romantic speculation. Further, advanced digitalisation seems to render superfluous and even undesired the free play of the imagination. Apparently growing scientific evidence of the illusory nature of the concept of the free will, the tendency to reduce emotions to mere chemistry of the body and its brain, and other similar reductionist simplifications marginalize the imagination. They have serious implications for the conception of image building and the ways we see images. At the same time, however, we can observe growing scepticism in relation to technological progress and to evidence that is attributed to the visible and to images as pure signs. Can this scepticism prepare a space in the current world of images for the introduction of the imagination once again? The rationale of progress and development holds the image market in its fi rm grip. The flood of images is hostile to the imagination and the noise from battles over the construction of worlds of the mind drowns it out. The result of this flood of images is that each individual image is emptied and is threatened with abjection when it does not conform to the standards of a market dominated by commercial interests. This constellation threatens to overpower the obstinate imagination. In contrast to a successful image industry of memory, the imagination is feeble. Will it be possible to reclaim the imagination under the adverse conditions created by digital technologies and an overpowering market? And what would be the rationale of such an attempt? Which of the different defi nitions of the concept seems most productive for a contemporary image theory? 4 Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf We argue that the absence of the term is not a matter of terminology but signifies a deficiency of the current concept of the image. Some of the earlier criticism labelled at the imagination was undoubtedly justified, but the crisis of representation that is at the same time also a crisis of the imagination in relation to images and perception is not a justification for abandoning the unifying concept of the image or of the imagination’s productivity. On the contrary, as we try to demonstrate, images need the imagination, its dubious history notwithstanding. 2 In the absence of an adequate theory of the imagination, the recent debates about the concept of the image have made use of individual and collective techniques of seeing that are best understood as imaginative. The imagination needs to be lifted from its flawed history and reconsidered as an indispensable faculty for an understanding of modernity and its images at the time of its reconstitution. Distanced from Kantian defi nitions and Romantic speculative enthusiasm in relation to creativity and reconstituted under the conditions of digital technologies, it has the potential to denote a complex that is constitutive for the postmodern and its image worlds and also indispensable for theorizing them. Theories of the productive imagination can make a substantial contribution to our understanding of the new images and the emergence of new ways of seeing. Among the few attempts to rehabilitate the imagination, its fusion with semiotics is leading to interesting results, but there are other ways of returning to the imagination, and exploring its connections with phenomenology, iconology or psychoanalysis is producing promising results. It is the aim of this book to stimulate a re-assessment of the imagination for theorizing the return of images in the historical moment that has been labelled a pictorial turn. This re-assessment requires a close examination of images that operate on the threshold of the representable. 3 WE NO LONGER KNOW WHAT AN IMAGE IS The emergence of a new type of image and new ways of thinking about images is significant for the present. It has been frequently stated that, at present, we are witnessing a triumph of the image. We are, it is constantly reiterated, surrounded by images that are overpowering—but can we be certain that we know what this critical statement means? We no longer know what an image is and have only a vague understanding of the power of images. When in the late twenties of the last century, Walter Benjamin wrote about the end of an epoch and linked the beginning of a new era to the mechanical reproducibility of images, he could be certain as to what he was referring to. There was no reason for him to doubt that he meant what he said: he wrote about pictures exhibited in public museums and galleries that could be visited; their aura was present and could be sensed by an eye educated in focussing on the surface of canvases, papers and other types of materials; he argued that these images were giving way Introduction 5 to a new type of images, produced and reproduced by the new technologies of photography and film that required a different gaze. Benjamin’s juxtaposition of pictures of traditional art history and new images resulting from the new techniques of unlimited reproduction of the same accounted for a fundamental change in the history of images and the visual and he re-examined this relationship favouring the images of the new media. His evaluation reversed customary views of art in favour of the new technologies and associated ways of seeing. He refused to consider the new type of images and the related attitudes as lacking in comparison to the legitimate old,3 and saluted the new attitudes and ensuing social constellations and political practices. This was an attempt to justify the image representative of the modern period and an attitude towards it that did not require, he argued, focus and concentration but dispersed senses. Yet in spite of his justification of the modern, interpreted in the context of an expanded art history, his opposition continued earlier theories of the image. His security in relation to knowledge of the subject of the debate has vanished in recent years. If “aura” ever was an appropriate term for signifying the difference between images of the past and images of the age of mechanical reproduction, it has lost its significance for an understanding of the current conditions of producing and receiving images. Uncertainty regarding the new technologies of image production erodes clear positions in relation to the image question. New images and corresponding techniques of dealing with them have emerged and continue to develop at an unbelievable speed. They present a challenge for our attempts at understanding images not least because they appear to leave no room for the imagination. To be sure, pictures are still produced and looked at; amateur photography is as popular as never before and produces millions of pictures every day around the globe. Art exhibitions in galleries register record numbers of visitors, and while cinemas are dying, television, video, DVD and other systems of dispersing images make sure that hundreds of millions of people are supplied with running images around the clock. Early media theories of the years following the First World War did not foresee this rapid and gigantic expansion. It cannot be understood as a continuation of the development diagnosed by Benjamin. The change in terms of the question of what an image is and what we do when we look at images is fundamental. The technological images of the media and the calculated images of the sciences in the digital age in combination with a changed market for pictures and strategies for making visible culminate in a deep caesura. Benjamin’s enthusiasm for the future of the technological media project was not borne out by these later developments. His main assumption that linked the ideal of political and social emancipation to the advancement of technologies was clearly wrong. The recent emergence of calculated technological images, in the sciences as well as in the entertainment industry, introduces a new category of images. In conjunction with the gigantic market for images, it threatens to eliminate any space of subjective freedom and liberation of the eye. If the 6 Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf indeterminacy of images and their borderline position between sign and invention, between perceiving and dreaming was ever to be associated with the shaping of future and an emancipatory project, this expectation is now lost and the connection to the productive imagination jeopardized. 4 THE NEW IMAGES AND THE END OF REPRESENTATION The present can be associated with the end of representation. We are witnessing not so much the return of images, as is often argued, but are involved in the process of the emergence of a new relationship between images and image makers and recipients. Computerisation and digitalisation are developing technologies for the production of a type of image that cannot be understood as a continuation of images from art history. The most noticeable characteristic of this relationship is that it experiments with the limits of representation. The productive power of advanced technology makes images hover on the threshold between the visible and the invisible and demonstrates that the concept of proper representation is no longer adequate. Juxtaposing these new images with pictures in museums and galleries, as well as with images in fi lm and photography, reveals the depth of the discontinuity. Their purpose, it has been argued, is the documentation of a trace that gives away the language of the phenomena.4 Do the phenomena have a language? It is more appropriate to perceive these images in terms of a realization of scientific principles of construction. They create abstract visual worlds guided by the rules of the media and the sciences, which, instead of representing or documenting, take the place of that which under an earlier ocular regime was represented. Images that used to be exemplary for the understanding of images and imaging could well become the exception. Pictures of the modern battlefield are a striking example. The widely publicized images from the fi rst Iraq war no longer showed a field for military action but presented an abstract construction of space based on electronic data sent around the world via satellite for processing. Computer technology creates a secret path for calculated and technical images to become a model. Common computerised images together with scientific images produced in a number of the sciences, for example in astronomy, electro microscopy or for medical diagnosis, that use combinations of programs, instruments and apparatuses, transformation techniques and signals (from galaxies, molecular structures or organs and tissues), give rise to a new category of images. The new images have been labelled calculated images. 5 In spite of obvious differences they share a common neglect of conventions of visual representation. The main characteristics of the new images can be determined in terms of a negative comparison with traditional images. They do not represent, do not show, are not expressive or aesthetic and seem to leave no room for subjectivity. They make it possible for the Introduction 7 viewer to encounter a simultaneity of what is real and can be shown with what is completely beyond the world of sense perception. A fundamental transformation has been observed that eliminates the aesthetic in favour of precise optical and mathematical procedures. This tendency of the new images has been called diagrammatic visualisation. Their diagrammatic nature can be seen as a radicalisation of minor traditions in the history of art that are now gaining significance as a result of the end of a centuries-old preference for the beautiful. As a diagrammatic rule it has been stated that the clarity of cognition is in reverse ratio to the iconic nature of an image (Mersch). An image shows and by showing always leaves open what its target is and, thereby, cannot but include alternatives that make the image dubious. Less image means more unambiguous information. Hugely increasing numbers of non-aesthetic images are being produced and their importance for understanding the image grows in accordance with their ubiquitous presence. The signs on the screen called icons and windows, the graphs for visualizing the data of the money market, traffic flow, tourist movements and similar statistics are increasingly significant of the everyday encounter with images. We call the primitive little images that we can make appear and disappear at will, icons and images. But they are not icons that represent something absent and outside themselves and certainly do not evoke saints or angels, and they are not windows through which the viewer can obtain access to a world beyond the frame. On this level, looking at them must not be confused with relationships that need fantasy and the productive imagination in order to be maintained. They are there only because of their usefulness as information and the need for a limited number of instructions. Without a restriction to their discursive and numerical content that makes them functional in electronic systems, they would not exist and this is their only raison d’être. As a product of the system they are indispensable to the degree that they function within the system. They make sense but have no meaning. They are in a way quiet pictures, as they are focussed on a specific purpose, and they are narrow and uni-linear since they are made solely to direct attention towards one specific aspect. We are enveloped in these pseudo pictures and do not really see them because they are so familiar to us. They do catch our attention, however, as soon as we make ourselves aware of them and notice them oscillating between emerging and disappearing and hovering on the edge of meaninglessness. It is surprising to note how they escape all attempts to fully describe them. It is their hidden borderline position that saves them from disappearing into the fog of invisibility. The new images are integrated visual elements of everyday life, creating a space for the increasingly virtualised life of the present. Yet there is a tendency to hide their character and make them appear like referential images. The design of the computer screen is an example. It maintains a traditional look, a framed rectangular, and supports a false impression by creating 8 Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf the illusion of a continuation of the familiar. We look at this framed rectangular for many hours each day without necessarily noticing that we are executing cognitive work and labouring, or “playing” highly structured games, i.e. doing cognitive activities that have little in common with the activity we traditionally associate with looking at images. On one level, these images are empty and banal, but on another level they are concealed by an eclipse and speak to the intuition. These “media without a message but with the potential of messages” (Schinzel) are, it is argued, the result of algorithms and accordingly require a deciphering view. The user needs to make additional assumptions and conjectures understood as formalized patterns of an objective reading. But this is not an adequate understanding of the role of the viewer. With these images, the idea of representation has come to an end and they serve to open a world with no limitation and that we associate with the infi nite. The viewer experiences a contrast of two different attitudes towards these images, fi rst, a dependence on methodical rules of information gathering and decoding and, second, a freedom associated with the emergence of the imagination that opens the image for a different sort of experience, one that draws affection and fantasy into the process of seeing. It is the imagination that invests these images with qualities traditionally associated with works of art and incorporates them into a cosmos of images that transcend the mere materiality of a picture’s content. Even though these images follow the ideal of information gathering that calls for transparency and calculation, the viewer’s impulse is to expose them to the imagination. The shift in attitude changes the images and makes it possible to discover their lack of sharpness and diffuse noise. All this demands the productive imagination so that contours of an image will emerge that cannot only be decoded but can be looked at. They offer to turn the user into a viewer. For the eye of the viewer, they can also gain a dimension of depth that is close to the infi nity incorporated into works of art, suggesting unlimited possibilities for transforming pictures with decipherable information into images with their own aesthetic. This is an aesthetic that makes no claim to beauty and stimulates the gaze to jump between two different images in one. The new images straddle the unequivocal sign and a symbol that evokes a gateway to a world of wonder, exceeding the viewer’s faculties of comprehension. It is remarkable that technical and calculated constructions arouse in the viewer a meta-physical or super-sensible faculty that fuses an image perceived as a sign and the intuition of the infi nite and creates a correspondence between the sign and an object beyond positive knowledge. Kant speaks of the human mind that requires a faculty that is itself super-sensible (übersinnlich), in order to be able to develop an image of the sensible world, including the idea of infi nity.6 The taming of the image through technology has a limit that is different from the taming function of Kant’s schema, because an intrinsic mental operation structures the process of

Author Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf Isbn 0415516943 File size 5.4MB Year 2009 Pages 386 Language English File format PDF Category Art Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare In this interdisciplinary anthology, essays study the relationship between the imagination and images both material and mental. Through case studies on a diverse array of topics including photography, film, sports, theater, and anthropology, contributors focus on the role of the creative imagination in seeing and producing images and the imaginary.     Download (5.4MB) Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 Assigning Cultural Values Redefining Adaptation Studies Women And The Arts: Dialogues In Female Creativity Load more posts

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