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Strategies of visualisation: State-corporate-military power and post-photographic interventions

Barsdorf-Liebchen, Nicolette 2018. Strategies of visualisation: State-corporate-military power and post-photographic interventions. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis contributes to current scholarly debates concerning the witnessing and visualisation of twenty-first century systemic and "socially abstract" state-corporate-military power and its in/visible forms of violence. The nexus of neoliberal democratic hegemony, global corporatization, digital technologies of communication, and modern warfare have produced radically evolving contexts of war photography. This includes the engendering of artdocumentary practices which mark a significant departure from socially "realistic" representations to more abstract and conceptual visualisations. In this context, "postphotographic" imagery is not adequately served by recent ethico-political debates regarding the image-making/viewing of direct and/or symbolic violence, which tend to neglect that which is not seen in contemporary news frames (of what is being referred to here as traditional media), namely, the in/visible systems, structures and processes of state-corporate-military power. Accordingly, this thesis argues visual culture scholarship requires recalibrated vocabularies as well as revised conceptual and methodological frameworks for the critical exploration of the subject of systemic, socially abstract power/violence. This thesis strives to advance its contribution to theory-building by way of crafting an alternative approach to critically understanding art-documentary photography and its viewing/reception within a state-corporatist and military-mediatized dispensation. It takes a cocreative and forensic approach to the selected imagery of the UK/US-based photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Simon Norfolk, Trevor Paglen, Edmund Clark and ~ 2 ~ Lisa Barnard, critically deploying the trans/interdisciplinary conceptual constellation of, inter alia, "Plexus", "war", complicity, “Vergangenheitsbewältigung”, "Gegenwärtige Bewältigung", corporate personhood, the open/public secret, the State-Corporate Exception, the "cadastral" and the "proxy measure". The concept of a "dispositif" (Rancière) is engaged in the analysis of the imagery, taking into critical account the heterogeneous elements beyond their visible content and framing. By its close, this thesis demonstrates why its refashioning of these concepts to serve as methodological and theoretical tools recasts pertinent aspects of current debates, affording critical and co-creative "ways of seeing" power, its violence, and its visualisation

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: T Technology > TR Photography
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 October 2018
Date of Acceptance: 22 October 2018
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2020 02:05

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