Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Image Ethics in Mousse

The current issue of Mousse includes an article I contributed on the ethics of images, based on a talk I gave recently at the MiArt Fair in Milan in April.  Here's the intro:

What does it mean to touch an image, not merely to look at it? What are the ethics of the images we choose to touch, of those we are allowed to see, and of the images we don't see but know in fact to exist?  Does the production, storage and circulation of images today imply a responsibility to, or to care for, them? Curator and writer Joao Ribas reflects on the task of attending to images that call out to us and the aesthetic effects they produce, instilling in us a need to store or share them. Arguing that contemporary images force us to move beyond basic aesthetic categories into the realm of the ethics of new affects, Ribas explores the demands images make today, as well as our current forms of iconoclasm and mediation. Do we need to develop ethically informed rather than legally compelled ways to deal with images in our digital condition? Or are we perhaps merely the parasitic host of images, which now replicate themselves through us, their deeper genetic purpose hidden?