2012, Nov.

Toward a Speculative Poetics of Visual Media

As the media landscape reaches impenetrable density we are charged with the task of creating new practices for media engagement. Over 4 billion hours of video are watched each month on Youtube. When I begin to imagine what affects this staggering amount of time mediates, I am surrounded by the chuckling sniffles of the millions of unique users that comprise Youtube's global audience. Indeed, seen from one perspective, youtube has become a marginally effective but globally entangled infinite source of laughter. While laughter is valuable, youtube, as an archive of human visual history, would be wasted if we do not approach it critically, passionately and poetically. Instead of passively letting youtube to pass through us in the form of LOLs, I propose engaging in the production of affect though the speculative poetics of media. By the speculative poetics of media I mean the task of understanding the material-semiotic openness of the networked image as an invitation to the poetic intensification of meanings. In a youtube video we have the affordance of decomposing the layering of forms of representation and presentation into a new media ecology of affects. Twisting the digital weight human history upon itself, like a concave mirror, we may burn new inscriptions in the unfolding of time.


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