anne-laure oberson collects curates creates [selected material]      < < <
_I see. Do you? Thinking seeing. [txt]
MASTER THESIS completed in december 2011 for the Media & Communication course at the European Graduate School




To which degree how and what we think is determined by how and what we see? What do we mean exactly when we say “I see.” And what do we really see? Thinking is primarily, solely most would claim, framed by language, but it is also in good part due to our ability to project mental images -concepts- into a flow of consciousness.

Ever since Plato’s cave story, man has imprisoned himself in the problematic of the images. The invention of photography has made matter simply more complex by trapping him in another set of ideas about representation, no longer of the order of the imaginary but of the indexical. The shift from analog to digital imaging and the vast possibilities of discoveries and transmissions that have emerged with these new technologies and networks have exposed us to a complete new set of images to look at, and thus demand of us a complete rethinking of the way we see.

In light of Vilém Flusser’s hypothesis on the quantum quality of photographic images, I investigate the claim that a single image holds all other images. I explore and discuss that photography is neither a fixed medium, nor does it fixes anything; rather, it is transient, fluid, undetermined, floating. It does not respond to the Barthian logic of “ça a été” (it has been) but to a constantly renewed “c’est” (it is), which is always in becoming, hence never a witness.
I review and study different historical, scientific and philosophical modes of thinking the image, taking into account the positions of Jonathan Crary, Jacques Rancière, Vilém Flusser and Paul Virilio, among others, along with understanding cognitive constructions and proposing parallels with the quantum theories of François Martin, which are based on Jung’s conception of archetypes, and explore what the image means today as a carrier of information.
I further discuss how it is no longer so distinct where images happen, whether in our mind in the form of mental images or out there in front of our eyes; and that indeed there is no longer a dialectical logic of the in and out, but the presence of one permeable volumatic field of correspondences that I call fasciae -in reference to the connective tissue- composed of evening news, memories, snapshot, synthetic images, dreams, fantasies, artworks, etc. that belongs to our collective memory, that respond to a quantum logic and that impact on how we perceive we think.

This shift from the materiality to the immateriality of the photograph, from paper based to electricity based images, has completely changed the way the visual information is presented to us and how we process it, relate to it, and how these images form our consciousness, our thoughts and are shared. Our flow of consciousness is matched by an equivalent flow of images that we can tap into uninterrupted so that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to tell which is which.

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