From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki

My questions:
a)What situation I would like to work with
b)What object I would like to circulate
c)What type of effect I would like to have
d)What type of displacement (location?)
e)What type of circulation (how it moves)

Borges’ Poetic Objects

Borges contemplates “universal history is the history of a few metaphors.” — “Pascal’s Sphere

1940 story “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius”

objects called hrönir in the alternative world described in this history.

Hrönir, you will recall, are the objects in Tlön, but we are told they are “secondary objects” that duplicate lost objects.

They exist by virtue of their relation to prior(lost) entities; they are reflections(reproductions) of something that was once “real” but no longer is.

These objects are “secondary objects” that all visual and verbal representations of material objects are secondary, but the narrator tells us that hrönir, themselves replicas, may also replicate themselves endlessly, each copy thus progressively removed from its “real” object.

“Sranger and more perfect than any hrön is the ur, which is a thing produced by suggestion, an object brought into being by hope.” The ur is a conceptual object even further removed from the material world than the hrön and thus, it seems, more real.

In Tlön, “real” objects are non-existent; only ideal objects are real.

In "The Zahir," it is narrator's fate to be obsessed by a single object: the zahir, a coin that he no longer possesses but cannot forget, an ideal object gone haywire, a mental image that eliminates all others. This character, like Funes the memorious, suffers from a visual dysfunction: his mind's eye is blinded by a single object, as Funes is blinded by an infinite proliferation of objects.

David Joselit on "Heritage and Debt"

Contemporaneity -> instead of neutrally describing of recentness, the contemporary is set now to be a movement, a kind of period who shared characteristic is little more than those things at the same time that are contemporary at the same time. The elevation of contemporary to the statistic of a period of style is really a weak account of globalisation.
Biennials -> an object of globalisation.
Market -> a mode of creating a yard stick of comparison between things diverse as the young British artists.
Three (image) Worlds during cold war period
morden art -> Jackson Pollock, One:Number 31, 1950
social realistic art -> Dong Xiwen, The Founding, Ceremony of the Nation, 1951
indigenous aesthetics of art -> Kente Cloth
Image Deregulation
global image world is produced from accommodation or ratio between heritage and debt. The notion of heritage refers to the culture genealogy of particular location, nation, people etc. The traditional, the indigenous, or sometimes even ancient ones are folded into contemporary art practice in order to singularise that art production in a particular place (to indicate modernism from outside of once time or place). -> rethink art derivative
the variation of appropriative art practice in 80s in Europe and America, like Sherrie Levine's work, is the index of this condition -> progressive gesture of critic in west world; but maybe bad copies in other culture or recognise as art derivative
Pastiche (Jameson)-> no longer to sense historicity, all access in a contemporary moment, different historical moment can coexist in one moment.

Image Object

post-internet objects and images are developed with concern to their particular materiality as well as their vast variety of methods of presentation and dissemination. any object is capable of becoming anothe type of object or because an object already exists in flux between multiple instantiations. An alternative method of representation without ever supplying a way to view the source Art after internet deals with not the nature of the art object but the nature of its reception and social presence.


P11: The art of creating suspense is also the art of involving the audience, so that the viewer is actually a participant in the film.In this area of the spectacle, film-making is not a dual interplay between the director and his picture, but a three-way game in which the audience, too, is required to play. [create symbolic knowledge, then the intersubjective network; we are all participants] ->P15 Consciously or not, this is their way of helping us to understand ourselves, which is, afterall, a fundamental purpose of any work of art.
p98 MacGuffin -> pretext, device, gimmick if you will.
Most of Kipling's stories(Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936), as you know were set in India, and they dealt with the fighting between the natives and the British forces on the Afghanistan border. Many of them were spy stories and they were concerned with the efforts to steal documents was the original MacGuffin. So the "MacGuffin" is the term we use to cover all that sort of things: to steal plans or documents, or discover a secret, it doesn't matter what it is. The only thing that really matters is that in the picture the plans, documents, or secrets must seem to be of vital importance to the characters.

Imaginary Media

  • What Is Meida Archaeology (Jussi Parikka, 2012)
p41 Chapter 3. Imaginary Meida: Mapping Weird Objects

ie. In Gebhard Sengmüller's AParallel Image, he constructed a transmission device for visual data that does not break the visual field into discrete elements that are then sent over to the receiving end serially, but emoloys a very messy (one has to say) method of parallel image transmission: every pixel element is sent in parallel 'directly' to the receiver via some 2,500 cables, using idea rather like those of Paul Demarinis in his the Messenger installation(1998), which reworked parallel transmission for the telgraph system.

p44. Imaginary media research -> more material definition of "imaginary media"

media that are the stuff of dreams as well as nightmares, at times existing only in the minds of inventors or science-fiction writers. Pasts can also be (re)imageined as in steampunk fiction.
Imaginary media are not media of [rediction , but there seems to be a very systematic relation between invention, imagination and the birth of scientifically based modern media culture that is not alwayss discussed only in scientific term. -> interested in the forgotten which now seems like new - a good example could be the 'theatrophone'.

p45 the notion of media-not-quite-real realates to a wider theme in modern media: media are increasingly not object-based. Instead, as non-solids, they escape direct perception, as in the case of electromagnetic fields, so crucial for the birth of broadcasting and current mobile culture...

Eric Kluitenberg (organizer, and theorist. Deals with the collision of new media technology, culture and society. Works with political/cultural center De Balie in Amsterdam and the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.) Kluitenberg(2011) attaches the concept(the notion of media imagined relates to rethinking media histories, how to complexify the notions of "actual" and "imageined" media and what kind of work has been done under this rubric, but also how the latter term affords much beyond its normal use in the Lacanian psychoanalytic sense) to a wider social field of production of desire, and to the role media that are imageined play in contextulizing actual media. Suggesting that imaginary media are important not only as exercises of imagination but as entry-points to the wider unconscious surrounding the techonolgical culturem the notion becomes a way to look at how technological assemblages are embedded in hopes, desires and imaginaries of mediation.

More often than not, the expectations contained in such imaginaries far exceed that what actual media machines are actually capable of doing. However, the actual media machines are themselves afficted with impossible desires that are ascribed to or projected on to them, by their desingers as well as in their perception by the public The transition between imageinary and actual media machines, in terms of their signification, can be almost seamless. Thus the imaginaries of imaginary media tend to weave in and out of the purely imagined and the actually realized media machineries. Because impossible desires can never be fully realized or sarisfied, imaginary media exceed the domain of apparatuses(realized media machines) and their 'histories'. They articulate a highly complex field of signification and determination that tends to blur the coundaries between techological imaginaries and actual techonological development.(Kluitenberg 2011:48)

Imaginary media can be seen to have close links with ideals of community and connection and this works through a similar logic to that of the myth: a naturalization that offers ideological support to values, ideals and aspitations in communication society.(Kluitenberg, 2006b: 11-12).

After all, the quesiton of imaginary media is: what can be imagined, and under what historical social and political conditions? what are the conditions for the media imaginaries of the modern mind and contemporary culture, and, on the other hand, how do imaginaries condition the way we see actual technologies?

Object do not precede their discourse; discourses constitute them as epistemological objects of knowledge, and hence 'make possible the appearance of objects during a given period of time'(Foucault 2002:36). This is the passage, so to speak, from things to objects(2002: 52) that are always regulated systematically in relations through which they start to become part of officialized, stabilized and often scientific knowledge, and it is through cultural practices that such discursive relations are sustained.

The materiality of the archive is part of regulated, discursive serialization that puts objects and statements into inseparable proximity.(Parikka 2012:48)

"the dream life of technology" -> not what technology is or was, but what people believed or desired it to be. (Zoe Beloff)

Slavoj Zizek(1992: 104-5) Analysing horror films: remove the horror element, such as the birds from the Hitchcock film The Birds, and what are revealed are the social relations.
In zizek's psychoanalytic formula, the Oedipal relations. Applied to imaginary media, try the same: remove the imaginary, remove the supposedly fantastic or otherworldly, and see what is revealed: a world of social relations, networks of communication, and new worlds of media technologies which are non-human in the deep scientific sense of reaching out to the non-phenomenological worlds of electricity, electromagnetic fields and, a bit later for example, quantum mechanics. In such theorizations, however, we do not need the Oedipal.(The term Oedipus complex (or, less commonly, Oedipal complex) explains the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression.)

Etheral communication between brains, and with understanding the new through such metaphoric transitions.

p60 Ernst Kapp"s(1877) thesis concerning 'organ projection' as the primary model for technology, were developed by du Prel and others in a direction which tried to take into account the non-visible spheres of nerves, brains and comunication across distances. Again, we can emphasize the material interpretations for such imaginary meida; modern media as well as transportation were bringing about a new arrangement of time and spatiality, and such 'media materialists' as Kittler have continuously emphasized the double bind between ghosts and technical media where, by making 'speech immortal', the voices of the dead also become immortal, zombies. ???

  • Eric Kluitenberg's(2006a) edited collection Book of Imaginary Media & (2011)Imaginary media research
how human communication can be reshaped by means of machines...

The Social Life of Art

Art works are charged objects, having a symbolic enery beyond the utilitarian(实用主义是定义在功能上的吗). -> have an emblematic function.
p87 Signifers, images, parts of images, are efficient, are economic, symbolically operative, not due to any inherent characteristics, but due to their positions within historical contextualising systems, within discourse, within discourses of reasons.
p89 In China calligraphy was elevated to a sophisticated art form. Ancient tradition surrounds the preparation of the hair brushes and the black inks, the quality of the absorbent paper or silk, the inkstone - together known as the "four treasures of the school studio" - as well as the handling of the brushes and the making of the mark. The manufacture of the paper, silk, ink, inkstones and brushes were themselves art forms. These objects were seldom "mere real tools", but often imbued, by association, with a charge or eloquence emanating from the nature of the transcendence of the text or image they were used to create. As Anne Farrer has pointed out, "calligraohy... was throught to be imbued with the qualities of particular persons or groups of people and thus associated with their political social and moral attitudes."
p103 Ideologies aspire to monopolies of "truth", but, as michael Ryan has pointed out, "all models that provide general explanations of the world are to a certian extent theoretical fiction." The perpose of all such illusions, as Marx called them (Debord preferred "distoring effects"), such as art, art histories and religions, is to provide a text that (mis)interprets the physical and psychological effects of the material organisation of a society at a particular time, in order to "remould the whole of the real to its own specifications", to claim the inherent legitimacy of an ideologies may utilise what Schulte-Sasse called a "strategy of textual domination with the foal of robbing the dominated groups, sexes, antions, and classes of the language necessary for interpreting their situation." What we call "reality" is itself, in Norman Bryson's phrase, "aproduction brought about by human activity working within specific cultural constraints."

  • Technology is strongly tied to myth and magical thinking


Chronophotographic gun

Étienne-Jules Marey’s chronophotographic gun of 1882, a camera invention in the form of a rifle that shot 12 consecutive frames per second, and famously documented the locomotion of animals and humans.
- Susan Sontag wrote that "a camera is sold as a predatory weapon," and that "just as the camera is a sublimation of the gun, to photograph someone is a sublimated murder - a soft murder, appropriate to a sad, frightened time" ("In Plato's Cave", 1973, 14-15)
- Christian Metz
- Friedrich Kittler
- War and Cinema: The Logistics of Perception by PAUL VIRILIO

  • Two lines of thinking: a) the photographer's gaze inflicts or re-performs a kind of violence on the body of the photographed subject (eg. Michael Powell's Peeping Tom, 1960). b)photographic image as deathly or corpselike (Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida, 1981).

100 objects

In 1997 two spaceships were launched from Cape Kennedy containing material to represent life on earth. The ambition of the project was to make hypothetical contact with extra-terrestrial intelligence.
With a mixture of irony and seriousness, the filmmaker, artist and director has chosen to put together his own shopping list called 100 objects to represent the world. After presenting this 100 objects in an exhibition at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace in 1992, and then create a prop opera.