Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Presencing Absence in Images

This quote from the middle of my Prezi was useful for grounding my theoretical points about the role of absence in electracy: transition from image to image is the thing (the limit) which is “present only in the form of absence.”

According to another one of my quotes, this “thing” or “limit” is the subject: “Thinking is the subject’s search for the thing (the real) whose very refutation makes it (cogito) possible.” As a visual genre, the photo montage most effectively captures the conductive movement that characterizes the subject’s unconscious.

From this I want to create a photo montage in the spirit of David Campany’s notion of “late photography” by returning to those sites of wreckage that are passed over every fifteen minutes or so in the media blitzkrieg of instant access. However, my “sites of wreckage” are not physical sites but digital sites such as old memes or stories of pop culture that have since been relegated to the cyber-refuse bin.

This would be a good project to use material from the Entertainment and Family sections of mystory. Perhaps even interspersing my subjectivity in the moment of transition between a still of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and a familiar family photo.

In this project, I will be following Lacan’s instruction by noting that repetition can be characterized as the search for the moment in which an event “seems to be under an obligation to yield itself” (i.e. the real, “original” encounter) (51). Movement is important here because encounters with the real are not static: “you cannot be stationary in your attitude toward something that is moving.” The real is moving and inaccessible, and I can only circle it through this transition that conveys the illusion (the veil) of an encounter with it.

In choosing individual images for this montage, try to follow this advice: “create an image that brings you to the point of action and then stalls, allowing the imagination’s invocatory nature to carry you into the here and now of the present only to have the image pull you back to the precipice from which you threw yourself. This is the “unresolved oscillation” of viewing experience (60).”

This would also be a good project to explore the rim-like movement described by Lacan and extrapolated by Christian Metz in his chapter of The Cinematic. In this quote from my mapping project, Metz seems to be telling me to create images that allude to off frame elements: the absence of the off frame element must be evoked by a feeling that is within the image’s frame. Similar to the temporal tension between past and present that I discussed earlier, this punctum propels the viewer outside the frame of the photo only to discover that the “thing” she is in search of was always already the lack initiated by an element within the image itself. This is Lacan’s image of the rim as a diagram of the movement of desire, entering into the gap only to return from where you came.

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