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Title: From the Digital to the Post-Digital – the Photographic Image
Authors: Van-Essen, Yael Eylat
Keywords: performative photography
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: Digital technologies have transformed the photographic medium from being representational to performative. In this way, they introduced a new kind of affinity between the visual image and the world. This paper will suggest seeing two parallel models of the photographic image, derived from its new manufacturing, processing, preserving and distribution practices, characterised by the coupling of an ‘image surface’ with data structures and algorithms. The first model is based on a networked concept of an image. As a result of its linkage to computer metadata networks, and the use of tagging procedures, images are innately embodied within political, social, economic and cultural contexts. These contexts are related to the logic of the database as a constantly changing mega-structure that, by its unique semiotic formulation, conditions the ways in which images become visible, and as a result, how they are interpreted. With this model we paradoxically witness the increasing prominence of textual mechanisms, at times when new interfaces are becoming more and more visual. The second model is characterised by a new approach to the photographic image encapsulating essential inherent properties of the photographed subject. By this model, the image, with the use of generative algorithms, computer vision and artificial intelligence technologies, can be perceived as ‘the virtual’ which is conceived in Deleuzian terms as the ‘more real’. The photographic image in this respect, as a post-digital image, can be interpreted through biological concepts, returning the notion of ‘presence’ to the photographic act.
Description: Biography: Dr. Yael Eylat Van-Essen is a curator and a researcher specializing in the interface between art, design, science and technology and also in Museology. She graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, received her MA and PhD from Tel-Aviv University, and a post-doc at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. She is a senior lecturer at the design faculty of the Holon Institute of Technology, and also lectures at Tel Aviv University. She took part as a curator in many exhibitions in Israel and abroad, among them “Life-Object, Merging Biology and Architecture” at the Israeli Pavilion in the Venice Biennale for Architecture (2016), Bio-Design, Hybrid Fabrications, HIT Research Gallery (2015), NOT YET, ALREADY Architecture and Animation, HIT Research Gallery (2014), IL(L) Machine Exhibition at Ars Electronica Festival (2013) . Her new book Rethinking the Museum was published in Israel in 2016. She has founded and directed for many years the Digital Media department in Camera Obscura school of Art and founded and co-directed the International Curatorial Program in Tel Aviv.
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