Thoughts on the Destruction of cultural imagery
The fragility of materialized memory is often recognized in a moment of threat. In its destruction — implying its exposure, meaning archeological discoveries — the original intention is reduced to absurdity. The absurdity can be explained through all different kinds of arguments. Through the image of a monuments destruction we can experience a state of consternation which empowers the symbolic content of a monument. The building of monuments, so the establishment of materilized culture, is making cultural vandalism possible. Currently the spread of images and videos showing destructions and looting are in great demand. The image is hereby taking the most relevant place, as it did since its invention. Drawing the line to Vilém Flussers mediaphilosophical thesis, who puts the developement of the real world to the invention of the image, which leads to the invention of writing and after to the era of technical images, into the context of an iconoclastic gesture. Cultural images are telling us about the evolutional process which humans surpassed. Their destruction is banned in the images that are leveling it up to a symbol, nowadays translated into the digital age of youtube-videos and accumulated images in the internet. The photograph of such an explosion is ripping the cultural images apart just as the explosion itself. The new composition of pixels, working as a testimony, are exhibited through a digital communication network on the screen. Those computations encrpyt even more messages, that are again crumbled apart and reconstructed. This cluster of information needs to be denoted so one can understand its acutal message.
Anciently the practice of damnatio memoriae was used to destroy the reputation of the powerful ones by destroying their imagery. Setting this idea into a digital communication, an algorithm is stepping in the place of scratching or simply modifying the original. The structural change that we are undergoing, starting from the dissolvement of the linear code is peaking into the necessity of making imagery transparent. Intersubjectivity versus subjectivity.
Bilder der Gewalt –
Gewalt der Bilder
This is war – not beauty
Images showing violence are all around us. Where are they coming from? What is their impact on our visual culture? Starting in ancient times Prof. Peter Sloterdijk is examining the history of the violent image and the violence of the image.
state of communication
The series »Devices« is putting mockups of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and smartwatches to a closer focus as they seem to reflect our current position in media evolution and the digital society in the 21st century. Usually mockups are applied for presentations. Mockups are digital generated models, usually finding use for presentational purposes. Their aura of flawless hyperrealism is mostly presented in an overesthetic nothingness. Their hyperrealistic imagery can be seen as the inherent distance of the communication through such devices. Passing by any social isolation through a mobile self, it is now possible to be part of an infinite communication process which we are so near and yet so far away.
Reader & Viewer
selection of research results
The reader and viewer is collecting images and words showing a possible research of the subject. Simply bundled up it exposes the diverse understanding of fallen monuments in different disciplines and their connection within. The archeological viewpoint is given by an interview with german archeologist Margarete van Ess, working for »Deutsches Archäologisches Institut« as the head of the oriental departement and Conan Schmigel Parsons, an activist who is currently working on a 3D reconstruction of Palmyra. Zainab Bahrani is an Iraqi professor for Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology at Columbia Unversity, given us an insight into mesopotamian art and its importance. The reader is publishing parts of her book »The infinite image«. On the example of Stari Most, Jadranka Petrovic, focuses especially on the law point of view related to fallen monuments. As a professor for architecture theory at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Ines Weizman is clarifiying the understanding of the term »Doppelgaenger« in architecture. With his must read on the preservation of historical monuments, Alois Riegl is giving us a clear definition on the how and why a monument is preserved. Vilém Flusser’s »Crisis of Linearity« is the theoretical core of »Verus Eternity«. The whole essay is published here.
the Destruction of
cultural imagery Damnatio Memoriæ –
Digital Bilder der Gewalt –
Gewalt der Bilder Devices – state
of communication Versus Eternity –
short motion Reader & Viewer