Susanne Østby Sæther Former Research Fellow

Susanne Østby Sæther
November 2016 - April 2017

IKKM Research Project

To Double or Diffuse: Art and the Mobility of Images, ca. 2005

I This project interrogates how the logic of condensing/dispersing plays out in a strand of art from the first half of the 2000s, wherein loss in image resolution is positively correlated with gain in image mobility. This art is formally marked through the trope of the blurry, deteriorating image and often takes off from the moving image. Here the “blur” thus functions quite specifically as an inscription of the rate and velocity at which recorded imagery may be reproduced and distributed, the mobil- ity and generative logics they possess. This correlation lies at the core of what Hito Steyerl evocatively has called a “poor image”, which she describes as a “copy in motion” that deteriorates as it accelerates (2012). The primary aim of the project is to analyze how the logic of condensing and dispersing plays out in selected artworks that promi- nently features “poor” images, in order to add to a historically situated conceptualiza- tion of this very logic, and in turn to arrive at a novel and nuanced understanding of the defining operations at work in a type of art from the early 2000s. Seeing this art as particularly instructive for exploring medially instantiated patterns of the logic of condensing/dispersion, the project also aims to develop theoretical models of pattern- ing that will contribute to recent art and media theory more generally.