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Title: Postimage: On the Future Evolution of the Image and its Theory
Authors: Hoelzl, Ingrid
Keywords: image theory
posthuman theory
machine vision
mixed swarm systems
collaborative image
Issue Date: 18-Oct-2017
Abstract: This paper is part of a research project that addresses the future evolution of the image taking into account the increasing accuracy and autonomy of computer and machine vision. Taking the case of so-called mixed swarm systems, where human, animal and robotic agents (each with specific sensorimotoric and cognitive capacities) collaborate in a given task, the paper will address the implications of the postimage understood as a collaborative image and as a mode of interspecies collaboration (Haraway 2008). If with animal swarms, sensing is distributed yet coordinated within a given swarm (species), posthuman vision, on the contrary, is a collaborative vision distributed across species, that is, between machines/robots and humans/animals and any intermediary forms (cyborgs, biomachines, etc.), with vision understood as the gathering/exchange of data between human and non-human sensing systems. The postimage then comes to be defined as “the collaboration of visioning humans/animals, data/algorithms and, increasingly, autonomous machines” (Hoelzl and Marie 2017: 73). With this definition, the project intends to open up a new field of inquiry: that of postimage theory, at the meeting point of computer and machine vision, posthumanism and image theory. REFERENCES Braidotti, Rosi, 2013. The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Haraway, Donna J., 2008. When Species Meet. Minneapolis: University of Minnessota Press Dorigo, M., Birattari, M., Li, X., López-Ibáñez et al. (eds), 2016. Swarm Intelligence. Heidelberg/New York: Springer Hoelzl, Ingrid and Remi Marie, 2017. “From Softimage to Postimage,” Leonardo 50:1 (February 2017), 72-73. Posted online February 1, 2017. Hoelzl, Ingrid, 2017 (forthcoming). "Postimage," in: The Posthuman Glossary, edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Description: Biography: Short bio Ingrid Hoelzl is a digital image theorist currently based at the School of Creative Media at the University of Hong Kong. Her articles on the status of the image in the digital environment, in particular its invisible algorithmic operativity (Hoelzl and Marie 2016), have appeared in journals such as Photographies, History of Photography, Leonardo, Visual Studies and Visual Communication. She is the author of a book on the theory of the photographic self-portrait photographic self-portraiture, Der Autoporträtistische Pakt (Fink, 2008) with a foreword by Elisabeth von Samsonow and (with Remi Marie) of Softimage: Towards a New Theory of the Digital Image (Intellect, 2015) endorsed by Christine Ross and Jeffrey Shaw. The book, which has won enthusiastic reviews in Visual Studies, Journal of Visual Culture, Social Media + Society and Leonardo, investigates digital animation, postproduction, screening, compression, navigation and wireless access as affordances of a new kind of “operative image”, culminating in the thesis of the “softimage” as not only intrinsically merged with software but as a program in itself. She is currently working on a new book, titled Postimage, exploring the relation of image, data, algorithms and vision in the posthuman episteme. A draft has been published in Leonardo 50:1 (February 2017) and in The Posthuman Glossary edited by Rosi Braidotti and Maria Hlavajova (forthcoming October 2017).
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