I’m a communication designer and my interests and professional activities bounce around the politics of contemporary visual cultures and their social impact. I was Head of Art at PlayGround, a wide audience digital media outlet, and one of the last freelance projects I’ve worked on consisted in directing a campaign for the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women for the Barcelona city council. I’m a researcher at The Royal College of Art, London.


︎︎︎ LAUS JURY 2019
︎︎︎ D&AD IMPACT GRAPHITE PENCIL 2018




HOT LINKS

︎ DIS/CONNECT

Communication in the Age of Isolation


︎ METAL (INTERVIEW)

El Arte de Hackear


︎ HANDLE WITH CARE

Actas BAU Design Forum 2017


︎ ON THE DESK

ADG Laus


︎ WE INVENT (INTERVIEW)

We empower ourselves to force a change in the brands and the way they behave





JOURNEYS TO DISJOINT: FADING PLANES






PROJECT:

W.I.P. Show


PRINTS
OCT.19- ONGOING
ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART

ALL IMAGES:
MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES

This practice-based research explores the relationship between accelerationist theory and the digitally processed images of airplanes fading on Google Maps. The heavy metal of some of these transports appear like bubbly shapes. In other cases, the heavy metal fades to transparency. Inside fading planes, there are people. Are these persons also fading in within the image?

From our virtual zenith, we observe photographs, taken by satellites, of airplanes with people inside, retouched and removed by algorithms. Hito Steyerl argues that the displacement of the zenith perspective “created a disembodied and remote-controlled gaze.” In other words, a zenith outsourced to machines. From above, the virtual ground “creates a perspective of overview and surveillance for a distanced, superior spectator safely floating up in the air”, highlighting the dynamic between object and subject; “a one-gaze of superiors onto inferiors, a looking down from high to low”. Simulacrum to an omniscient God’s-eye view.



Our contemporary visual culture is saturated by views from above, establishing a new visual macro-normality: one that accepts ubiquitous surveillance technology as entertainment through our screen devices. How fading planes can reveal the dehumanization of the accelerated images? How is this accelerated system affecting images? What are the mechanisms of the dehumanised images?



Eye diagram: Creator-Device-Platform, Laia Miret 2019


Trevor Paglen refers to Harun Farocki as “one of the first to notice that image-making machines and algorithms were poised to inaugurate a new visual regime. Instead of simply representing things in the world, the machines and their images were starting to “do” things in the world”, thus condemning the human eye to an anachronistic existence, “machines were starting to see for themselves”. This research will address the politics of a specific category of images: those produced by machines with automated cameras (CCTV, speed radars but focused primarily on satellite cameras) designed to operate without real-time human agency. From a technical and mechanical point of view, I consider these images to be dehumanised because of the genesis of their production.


 





Google Maps, Earth and Street View are tools that allow us to travel the globe immediately, faster than planes. From a socio-political point of view, this also reveals the mechanisms of dehumanisation of the images by the accelerated capitalism.

More conversation on the progression of the creation and usages of images is needed, in order to unblock our incapacity to deal with acceleration. Only by surfacing it, by making evidence, we will be able to question and react, invent, or think of strategies to change the current paradigm and deal with the saturation we are living in.


















Related readings and references: 


Augé, M 1995, Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, trans. J Howe, Verso, New York, U.S.A., original work published 1992.

Baudrillard, J 2019, For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign, trans. C Levin, Verso, New York, U.S.A., original work published 1981.

Benjamin, W 2008, La obra de arte en la época de su reproductibilidad técnica, trans. A Brotons Muñoz, Abada Editores, Madrid, España, original work published 1935.

Berry, W 1987, Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer, Penguin Modern: 50, U.K.

Blas, Z 2019, ‘Contra-Internet’, e-flux, Podcast #5, November 2014 <https://soundcloud.com/e_flux/contra-internet-with-zach-blas>

Byung, CH 2015, La salvación de lo bello, trans. A Ciria, Herder, Barcelona, Spain, original work published 2015.

Deleuze, G 2003, Francis Bacon: The logics of sensation, trans. D W Smith, Continuum, London, UK, original work published 1981.

Fontcuberta, J 2016, La furia de las imágenes. Notas sobre postfotografía, Galaxia Gutenberg, Barcelona, Spain.

Fontcuberta, J 2019 ‘The Fury of Images’, For Ever More Images?, Athens, Greece, July 2019 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=har7CvfT1p0>.

Herwig, C 2016, Keeping Earth up to date and looking great, viewed 15 January 2020, <https://blog.google/products/earth/keeping-earth-up-to-date-and-looking/>.


Kholeif, O 2018, Goodbye, World! Looking at Digital Art in the Digital Age, Sternberg Press, Berlin, Germany.

Laboria Cuboniks 2018 ‘The Xenofeminist Manifesto’, Verso, October 2018 <http://www.laboriacuboniks.net>.

Manovich, Lev 2018, ‘AI Aesthetics’, Strelka Press, December 2018, Moscow, Russia.

Morton, T 2018 Being Ecological, A Pelican Book, London, UK.

Paglen, T 2014 ‘Operational Images’, e-flux, Journal #59, November 2014 <https://www.e-flux.com/journal/59/61130/operational-images>.

Perry Barlow, John (1996). “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace”, Electronic Frontier Foundation. February 1996.

Shields, F 2019, Why we're rethinking the images we use for our climate journalism, viewed 20 October 2019, <https://www.theguardian.com/>.


Steyerl, H 2009 ‘In defense of the poor image’, e-flux, Journal #10, November 2009, <https://www.e-flux.com/journal/10/61362/in-defense-of-the-poor-image>.

Steyerl, H 2010 ‘Politics of Art: Contemporary Art and the Transition to Post-Democracy’, e-flux, Journal #21, December 2010, <https://www.e-flux.com/journal/21/67696/politics-of-art-contemporary-art-and-the-transition-to-post-democracy/>.

Steyerl, H 2011 ‘In free fall: a thought experiment on vertical perspective’, e-flux, Journal #24, April 2011, <https://www.e-flux.com/journal/24/67860/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective>.

Steyerl, H 2018, Arte Duty Free. El arte en la era de la guerra civil planetaria, trans. F Bruno, Caja Negra, Buenos Aires, Argentina, original work published 2017.

Srnicek, N and Williams, A 2013, ‘#Accelerate. Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics’, Critical Legal Thinking, May 2013, <http://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics>.