Reading Data-Image through Its Invisible Layers

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Abstract

Human vision-centred understanding of visual imagery has changed profoundly in the last decade. Visual culture is being continuously reproduced through algorithmic models and is further complicated by biometrics and machine vision (Rettberg, 2014). Ingrid Hoelzl (2015) points out that human vision is only one among many possible sentient systems. She suggests the concept of "postimage" in the framework of posthuman theory as a collaborative vision distributed across species. Trevor Paglen (2016) further posits human vision in the contemporary visual culture not only as peripheral, as Hoelzl argues, but also as irrelevant in many ways. The majority of images in contemporary visual culture, Paglen says, are now being produced by machines for other machines and become invisible to human eyes. He claims that the visual strategies developed for human-to-human visual culture are useless to interpret today's visuality. Emphasizing the continuity of culture, Steve F. Anderson (2017), on the other hand, describes the existing relation between data and images as being in a rapid state of flux. He suggests rethinking critical models developed around media studies and benefitting from "hard-won advances in areas such as feminism, critical race theory, and models linking popular culture and technology to issues of class, sexuality, and politics. How can we rethink visual literacy to understand today's data-image? The term "data-image" refers to the contemporary image's operational and representational qualities. This dual structure of image involves both visible and invisible realms, and its meaning can only be achieved by oscillating between these realms. The image's meaning is defined not only by ambiguous, culturally specific, polysemic interpretations of the human viewer but also by how these images are organized, delivered, manipulated, and reproduced -through data-driven systems, hardware, algorithms, platforms etc.- in an invisible realm lacking transparency and involving various forms of control. In this context, this paper will discuss the concept of visual literacy as an evolving concept and discuss the layers of data-image through analysis of selected examples.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConnecting + Sharing-Envisioning the Futures of Visual Literacy
Subtitle of host publication54th Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association Book of Abstracts
Place of PublicationFinland
PublisherUniversity of Jyvaskyla, Finland
Pages102
Publication statusPublished - 10 Aug 2022
Event2022 INTERNATIONAL VISUAL LITERACY CONFERENCE: CONNECTING & SHARING - ENVISIONING THE FUTURES OF VISUAL LITERACY - UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ, JYVÄSKYLÄ, Finland
Duration: 10 Aug 202212 Aug 2022
https://ivlaconference.org/

Conference

Conference2022 INTERNATIONAL VISUAL LITERACY CONFERENCE
Abbreviated titleIVLA 2022
Country/TerritoryFinland
CityJYVÄSKYLÄ
Period10/08/2212/08/22
Internet address

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