Digital Images are SomeThing to aspire to? (A reflection on Hito Steyerl's proposal)
February 16, 2012 5:13 AM   Subscribe

Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin?

* In her recent October Journal article (Digital Debris: Spam and Scam), Steyerl claims that "80% of today's email messages are spam"
** This piece by Finn Brunton, (Roar so wildly: Spam, technology and language), is referenced by Steyerl in the same October Journal article
posted by 0bvious (5 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Well this sounds sufficiently flaky.
posted by clarknova at 5:16 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

that last link is amazing
posted by kuatto at 8:04 AM on February 16, 2012

The last link reminded me of this.
posted by patrick54 at 8:08 AM on February 16, 2012

Great post, thanks for making it.
posted by codacorolla at 9:25 AM on February 16, 2012

I'm still not sure if I embrace everything Steyerl has written. In the art-theory circles I stumble into, let's just say her artworks are more readily accepted than her writings. Controversy is woven deeply into the rhetoric of e-flux, a rhetoric Steyerl is proficient at adopting. I must admit, I do think The Poor Image in particular is a great essay, enabling some fascinating 'object oriented' conceits on the ontology of the digital.

I'd be really interested to hear what you make of all these essays.

This is now somewhat out of date, but for those interested, I wrote an essay a while ago trying to de/re-fine Steyerl's conceit: Digital Autonomy (A Response).
posted by 0bvious at 9:46 AM on February 16, 2012

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