Keynote Conversation / Anxious to Act
Keynote Conversation: Anxious to Act
With Hito Steyerl, Nicholas Mirzoeff and Oliver Lerone Schultz
In the current age of audio-visual capitalism, “postproduction,” to use Hito Steyerl’s term, has brought about the industrialization of vision. Multi-modal devices and cybernetic networks blend visuality with other media-forms and media-acts, while vision is subject to operable protocols and (semi-)automated processes.
“Seeing is believing" thus has morphed into "seeing is acting"—and as drones and surveillance cameras remind us, to be seen is now to be acted upon. Choosing to be in/visible is now an act of sovereignty, and governing means subjecting others to technologies and cultures of vision. What progressive agency, strategies, and options remain for emancipatory endeavours to act on vision? What is to be done in the eye of social algorithms? The two conversation partners have a long-standing stake in the ever more relevant discussion about what Nicholas Mirzoeff has called the “clash of visualizations,” and each in their own ways combine analytic, aesthetic, and strategic approaches to visual culture. They will ask what horizons for resistant media acts exist in times of visual and other enclosures.