Demos T.J. (2013) The Migrant Image. U.S.A: Duke University Press.

  • “…this book investigates a series of key questions regarding the relation between politics and aesthetics, mediums and mobility, socioeconomic disparity and emancipatory artistic promise that sheds further light on globalization’s crises.” Xiv prelude.
  • Steve McQueen, Emily Jacir, Yto Barrada, Hito Steyerl, Ahlam Shibli – Migreurop
  • Looks at “aesthetic innovations” that respond to crises of globalization, “critical documentary strategies and new modelings of affect” – how the medium responds and relates to the topic. xiv prelude
  • “…artists confront geopolitical conflicts by also throwing documentary conventions into crisis.” Xvi
  • steve mcqueen western deep
  • “…the truth-value of the image has been newly placed in doubt.” xvii
  • “By engaging the critical interval between frames, between geographies, between the subject of representation and the space of cinematic projection, McQueen’s films construct a perceptual caesura between viewer and image that engenders the potential for a flight both from earlier documentary standards that served to reify victimhood and toward a singular expression that offers a just distribution of appearance.” Xvii
  • Hito Steyerl – Novemeber (2004) video essay about friend Andrea Wolf/ martyred kurdish freedom fighter – interesting part about when she was on a protest and was supposed to be filming but was told to hold a candle and join in- footage was used on tv and she became the image of a mournful protestor, but in reality wasn’t involved. Her image slipped out of her control. “…emerging conditions of globalization’s image regime, to be one of virtual drift and endlessly changing contexts.” xvii
  • Ahlam shibli
  • Otolith group nerves rerum? – film, opacity – representation of refugee camp…
  • “…her work opens up the transformative potential of dislocation and decenters the very notion of national identity…” xix
  • “Reciprocal extraterritoriality” – simultaneous dislocation of self and other – Agamben
  • “ethnographic gaze” xx
  • edouard glissant – opacity of the image
  • “…the book not only engages and draws on artistic practices that construct imaginative possibilities that await potential realization, but sees those works as having the power to mobilize the energy that will help bring about reinvented possibilities.”
  • Modernity as exile
  • “…travel also holds the capacity to unleash a creative flight into the experience of multiplicity beyond the fixed categories of identities, mediums, and conventions.” Pg3
  • Hannah Arendt positioned refugees not as victims but “the vanguard of their peoples” pg4
  • In the refugee “we glimpse a future beyond the nation-state and its destructive exclusion of noncitizens.” Pg4
  • “Homogenizing tendencies of globalization” pg 4
  • on mona hatoum’s measures of distance: “…this work defeats essentialism through its very structure, even while it commits to the particularities of ethnicity, race, and gender that define the lived circumstances of the subject within a heterogeneous cultural frame.” Because it’s not just text or film or script etc.
  • Brussels ARGOS exhibition – No Place – Like Home: Perspectives on Migration in Europe (2008) – reject the romance of the nomad, “expose the circumstances of those excluded from its privileged realm…” contest media which polarizes and pits citizens and refugees against each other
  • “The challenge of the documentary treatments found commonly in such shows is therefore to avoid reaffirming the excluded as victimized objects of representation, which ironically tend to reiterate the relations of inequality they are otherwise trying to contest.” Pg17 – this is done by subjective/reflexive? work, multiple screens that create a participatory physical mobility
  • page 17 and 18 are interesting.
  • “Far more radical is universalizing the migrant as the condition of being human, and determining a politics of equality on that basis.” Pg19
  • ^^this gives migration agency and autonomy, redefines idea of citizenship – job of artists to imagine alternatives that could produce material effects… pg20
  • page 95: “…the experiential conditions of the refugee have already seeped into everyday life. Spatial insecurity, perceptual disorientation…”

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