"Look away from me!": what images mean and want in the age of digital media practices
Paolo S. H. Favero (University of Antwerp)
Paper short abstract:
Centering on the world of contemporary art and documentary film this paper discusses the extent to which the meaning of images is today to be found extensively beyond the frame, hence requiring us to shift attention to context, social relations and materiality.
Paper long abstract:
Changing the way in which we produce, store and share images digital technologies have modified our ways of relating to and addressing the field of vision. The importance of these changes resides not only in the increased speed and size of production and distribution of images around the world (much work has been conducted on this aspect) but rather on the practices that are emerging in parallel to this. Side by side with the spread of new technologies, the last decades have witnessed to the growth of new image-making practices in a variety of different fields, from the world of (visual) art to that of documentary film, from commerce to news. In all these contexts we are witnessing a shift. Images no longer simply index or represent reality but they literally remand us to its materiality and socialness. Centering mainly around the world of contemporary art and documentary film (with a particular attention to India) the present paper aims to discuss the extent to which images seem today to ask us to 'look away from them'. The meaning of images, it will be suggested, is to be found extensively beyond the frame, requiring hence attention to questions of context, social relations and materiality.
Anthropology of art: today and tomorrow