Looking forward to join the colleagues in Rome for a seminar on visibility & related matters. With many thanks to Lorenzo Sabetta for setting up the event!
A keynote speech to be given at Jahrestagung DigiKomm22, Düsseldorf, 10-11 Nov 2022
In this short talk, I briefly introduce what I regard as the major social-theoretical challenges today in the study of inter-visibility relations, as specifically applicable to the digital domain. In a nutshell, my argument is that, besides the architectures and infrastructures of visibility, we also need to take into account what I call the world of pregnances, that is, the intensive states associated with the visible. If we follow this avenue, a few fault-lines in our categorical apparatus need to be rearranged.
Event beautifully hosted at Haus der Universität, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf : https://www.sozwiss.hhu.de/institut/abteilungen/kommunikations-und-medienwissenschaft/beispielseite
I have been invited to the the “Rendre visible l’invisible” symposium, Paris, 24 June 2022.
UPDATE: Now on GoogleBooks – Preview of Introduction is available : https://www.google.it/books/edition/The_New_Politics_of_Visibility/_b_3zgEACAAJ
We’re at proofs stage. Due out later this year.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Issues in the Visible
Andrea Mubi Brighenti
1. The Political Geometries of Visibility: Ranks of Seeing in the Digital Age
2. Coded Visions: Datafied Visibilities and the Production of Political Futures
Mikkel Flyverbom and Frederik Schade
3. Urban Information Environmentalism
4. Mediated Visibility and Recognition: A Taxonomy
João C. Magalhães and Jun Yu
5. The Democratization of Visibility Capital: Face in the Age of Its Automated Technical Reproducibility
6. Rewilding the City: Urban Life and Resistance across and beyond Visibility
AbdouMaliq Simone and Morten Nielsen
7. Strategies and Tactics of Visibility: The Micro- Politics of Vulnerable Migrant Groups during the Pandemic in Brussels
Mattias De Backer
8. Reframing Marginality in Trans Politics: Towards an Ethics of Differentiation
9. Open Science as an Engine of Anxiety: How Scientists Promote and Defend the Visibility of Their Digital Selves, While Becoming Fatalistic about Academic Careers
An online seminar series co-organised with Carlo Brentari. Contact me to get the link for joining the seminar!
April 8 Carlo Brentari & Andrea Mubi Brighenti (Unitn, organisers) – Introduction & Glossary
April 15 Timo Maran (University of Tartu) – Biomimicry
April 22 Christian Borch (Copenhagen Business School)– Mimesis and Society
April 29 Petra Gruber (University of Akron) – Biomimesis and Biornametics in Architecture
Still from Harun Farocki : Computer Animation Rules, Lecture at IKKM, 25 June 2014, available at https://vimeo.com/100092938
NOW OUT in Visual Studies : https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1472586X.2020.1840089
Abstract. This paper analyses vertical vision by tracing its possible genealogy and exploring the forms it takes in the contemporary city. In the first section, vertical vision is situated in the context of its cosmographic tenets. In the second section, the critique of verticality is complemented by a topological approach where vertical vision can be seen folding into a novel visual grammar. The lineaments of this grammar can be retrieved by attending specifically to algorithms and their role in contemporary urban perception, which we discuss in the third section. The fourth section implements the suggestions of two artists: Harun Farocki’s notion of navigation, and Hito Steyerl’s notion of bubble vision. Exposing the central role played by digital platforms in ushering in this novel paradigm, bubble vision can be reconstructed as the logical end-point of classical vertical vision. This comes in conjunction with the rise of peculiar visual-cultural configuration, which could be called ‘atmoculture’. Section five submits that atmoculture represents the cultural milieu of bubble vision. In conclusion, the paper invites visual scholars interested in the study of verticality to recognise bubble vision, together with its atmocultural background, as a new expression, and a reconfiguration, of vertical vision: similarly centred and disembodied, exhilarating, and dangerously de-responsibilising.
A speech I’m giving at
The Role of Visibility in Academic Evaluation.
(E)Valuation Studies in Science and Higher Education
November 15‐16, 2018
Humboldt‐Universität zu Berlin
Senatssaal, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin
NOW OUT in TASTE • Law and the Senses book series (Eds. Andrea Pavoni, Danilo Mandic, Caterina Nirta, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos). London: University of Westminster Press.
Available in Open Access – https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/books/10.16997/book21/
Now published in Theory, Culture & Society 35(1) http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/tcsa/35/1
Issues of measure and measurement, and their relation to value and values, are of concern in several major threads in contemporary social theory and social research. In this paper, the notion of ‘measure-value environments’ is introduced as a theoretical lens through which the life of measures can be better understood. A number of points are made which represent both a continuation and a slight change in emphasis vis-à-vis the existing scholarship. First, it is argued that the relation between measure and value is necessarily circular – better, entangled. Second, a conceptualisation of measures as territorialising devices is advanced. Third, importance is given to the fact that measures are not simply tools in our hands, they are also environments in which we live. Fourth, attention is drawn to the fact that the unit (n=1) is not just a quantitative happening among others, but is qualitatively distinct.
The Social Life of Measures (pre-print version)
Now Published in Frontiers in Sociology | Sociological Theory
Abstract. In the context of a social-theoretical take on the link between social life and visibility, this paper invites to shift the focus from visibility phenomena to “the visible”. A theory of visibility, it is submitted, must be constructed as a theory of the medium. In opposition to visibility as a set of formal relations, what the visible brings to the fore is the existence of a mid-term, a connective tissue. Also, if a theory is a prelude to a science, then a theory is needed that makes possible to measure the visible in itself. The development of an “intrinsic” theory of the visible, one capable of generating its own variables and constants, along with the conceptual space for their articulation, is retrieved through the joint contributions of surface theories (Simmel, Goffman, Portmann) and intensity theories (Deleuze, Thom). The piece presents a set of notions that could be of use to analyze the fiber of the visible and the trajectories occurring in the visible, in view of laying out a series of laws of the visible.
& a Related Lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtK0nfA5r50&t=1s
A Lecture delivered at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt. Vortrag.
Full video here (a bit boring, though) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtK0nfA5r50&t=1s
Now published in Distinktion: Journal of Social Theory
Abstract. Camouflage is usually understood as a type of deceitful communication
strategy in the animal and human domains. In this piece, we invite scholars to consider how the phenomenon of camouflage, while certainly grounded in antagonism and selection, might exceed its strategic meaning. Using the case of undercover agents movies, we attempt to flesh out the inner logic of camouflage and the type of social-existential situations it gives shape to. Exploring the mundane practical problem of ‘infiltration’ into a social group or social milieu, the article zooms in onto the experience of camouflage and highlights its relatedness to and distinction from imitation. Camouflage is here used not as an overarching interpretive category, rather, as an instance that reveals something about the problems inherent in the constitution of inter-subjective life. The article seeks to contribute to a theoretical development in the study of social logic and social teleology, stressing the curious entanglement of deliberate strategic action and irrational desire that contradistinguishes what could be called the ‘aberrant conjunction’ of the camoufleur and its target. Camouflage, we conclude, is not only about make-believe but also, crucially, about desiring and learning to desire.
Keywords: Mimicry, Camouflage, Undercover movies, Infiltration, Social logic, Social phenomenology, Inter-Subjectivity
The Functions of Camouflage
The Logic of Camouflage
The Existential Phenomenology of Camouflage
The Paradoxes of Camouflage, or, Learning to Desire
http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/PNcAa3KNVDYUT3yZ6jhR/full (50 free downloads)
A speech I’m giving at the conference Understanding Visual Culture – Interdisciplinary Perspectives – Bologna, 21-22 April 2016
Brighenti-2016-De-la-visibilité – Book Review