Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf (eds.), Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination

Review by Clarissa Lee
Duke University

Huppauf, Bernd and Christoph Wulf (eds.), Dynamics and Performativity of Imagination: The Image between the Visible and the Invisible. New York & London: Routledge, 2009.

[1] One of the hardest thing reviewing this anthology of essays is not the multiplicity of subjects covered under the theme of imagination, creativity and image; but the variety of analytics, some scintillating and others less so, of twenty-five authors who drew on their diverse intellectual investments to discuss the negotiation of performativity between the visible and the invisible. Moreover, the notions of the visible and the invisible are subjected to interpretations depending on each author's philosophical commitment.

[2] That said, much of the philosophy interrogated in this collection is predicated on a lineage spanning German Idealism, German Romanticism, the Frankfurt School, and phenomenology (with the French side represented by Rousseau, Hugo and Merleau-Ponty), though not going too deep where the post-structuralists are concerned. [1] There is no one point of convergence, or even five points of convergence in this five-part book. Hence, one ends up with a collection that is more of a patchwork quilt than a perfect fullerene. Some of the articles engage in the plane of abstract theorizing and seem intent on carving from the matrices, a discursion into iconology, affect, gaze, and image to present a new ontological space for other possibilities even though they did veer much from existing theories. This is particularly true of the articles that try to reconfigure aesthetics in relation to their artistic objects of inquiry (a painting, building or sculpture) in light of new theories assimilated from the sciences (mainly the physical sciences) while also trying to uncover nodes of intersections with theories of religious iconology. This is represented by a still hesitant foray into mimesis and its possible key-role as a bridge between scientific and artistic signification.

[3] Since there is an underlying intention in this anthology to ramp up the intensity of conversation between the art and science with image, imaging and the imagination as catalysts, some of the articles have responded by bringing to bear theories of information sciences and mediation that culminate in a 'new media' epistemological formation that they hope will be the location for a more thorough intervention into the arts-and-science rubric. There is only one article in this collection, written by a Sinologist, which tries to break out of the Western-centric material culture. He wants the reader to reconsider the birth of the Word in the form of each character stroke of a calligraphic brush. He argues for a different way of looking at artistic practices of calligraphy, not in terms of the language and the sign, but in terms of movement as preceding the sign. The positioning of this article in the collection actually segues well into the discussion of other forms of recognition (such as facial recognition) and misrecognition that form the discursive subjectivities of the study of form, image and matter. The conclusion one can draw from the different positions taken in the articles of this collection is that the most common ground for the multi-disciplinary conversations in science, art and philosophy to take place is in the ontology of the phenomenological. This seems to ignore the post-phenomenological direction that has been taken by certain scholars working in posthuman [2] philosophies but that is not the subject of this review. However, each article, even the least coherent ones, has much to contribute towards thinking about how the ontology of mimesis functions discursively as the point of mediation between methodologies and theories in the sciences and the humanities.

[4] In the editorial introduction to this collection by Bernd Huppauf and Christoph Wulf, they have stated in the outset that imagination is mostly absent from the discourse on images and imagery because of particular attitudes toward the latter. It is a little ironic for them to claim that the imagination is formed by "scientific ideals" since it is unclear as to what that means; a logical-positivistic contempt for the metaphysical or a distaste for a subjective interpretation of ontologically assembled data? They claim here that the technologically advanced construction of the image (we can think here of medical visualization or archaeological reconstruction of material artifacts through the use of 3-D imaging devices) have little in common with traditional images (think of a 15th century Italian painting or ancient East Asian ideograms). They want the reader to consider the differential representations enacted by images derived from seemingly unrelated epistemologies; the technological situated within the empirically-driven speculation and the conditions of the image as dictated by the human's direct relationship to nature. But how would imagination therefore fit in here?

[5] Huppauf and Wulf argue that imagination's bad reputation has a long history due to the way imagination was refashioned for use in politics and the social, and the way in which it is implicated in the discourse of power. It would seem as if the imagination has undergone periods of favor and marginalization, with the case of the latter represented by Kant's insistence on its "domestication," to maintain strict control, with imagination peaking in the 18th century with the Romantic Movement's rehabilitation of emotions and the sensual. For Huppauf and Wulf, the "imagination was seen as the faculty for imaging what cannot be seen, potentiality, and it also had the potential to create new worlds born of mental images (3)." They also look at Benjamin's juxtaposition between traditional art history and images born of new techniques of "unlimited reproduction" to trace the change in the history of the image, and therefore of the 'aura,' which they argue is too anachronistic a concept to discuss in light of today's proliferation of images through mechanical means. Questions are also being raised as to the object of representation; on what can or cannot be represented (a question that has preoccupied analytic philosophers of mind for decades). It is uncertain as to whether it is necessary for an image to be replete of meanings or if their indexicality is of greater importance here. [3] There is a need to think about what mediates an individual's relationality with the image; whether one is able to trust the 'reality' of that image or if the virtual should be allowed to hold the material composite of our imaginings.

[6] How can image be connected to image theory if the fields of images and the imagery are now reconstituted to take into account technological advancement? Are we allowing epistemic differences to blindsight us into thinking that the ontology of image production would differ according to who could be the 'actual' creator of that image? Huppauf and Wulf have ventured that since images are dependent on the context of their creation, the theories would therefore differ according to contexts.[4] In light of that, they seem ambivalent as to whether one can provide much agency to the imagination if the images are digitally produced (and thus restricted by parameters permitted by the limitations of the technology used). At the same time, they argue that perception is inseparable from the imagination and that both are driven by intentionality. They want to break out of the Cartesian mold that insists on the imagination as a special case of perception, and to argue instead for a productive imagination (one that is not necessarily 'sharp' but has a condition of 'unsharpness' that transcends the signified character of the image) as the future direction.

[7] Part 1 of this book takes up the theoretical gauntlet thrown by Huppauf and Wulf in its grappling of "Imagination, Fantasy and Creativity." "Imagination" by Gert Mattenklott is a rumination of the cultural and philosophical differences in the concepts of image and imagination within the German philosophico-semantics, since there are two terms subsumed under the English word "imagination;" Imagination and Einbildungskraft. He says here that "(Einbildungskraft), in particular, takes on a prominent role" because the flexibility of its representation is rooted in the all-incorporating Ein-bildung (which stands in for imag-in-ing or the imagination) (25). Mattenkoft spends time in teasing out the subtle differences in the relationship between these two terms and what they mean to the pre-Romantics and the Romantics. He also discusses the relationship of the imagination to the world of the phantasmatic as represented in Romantic German literature through writers such as Goethe and Schelling. The discourse of freedom in terms of self-empowerment and subjectivity also reverberates throughout the article whereby imagination frees one from the constraints of rigid reasoning, and thus allows the self to transform. [5] Since this person of imagination is also a person of intellect and has the ability to reflect, he/she becomes responsible for his/her actions and an ethical existence is thus attained. Mattenkoft also seems to argue, by way of Kierkegaard, that the insufficiency of imagination lies on its ability to convey pain and suffering. This problem could perhaps be work out if one considers Georges Didi-Huberman's suggestion of "aesthetic immanence" as a way of bypassing the limitations of imagination.

[8] According to Didi-Huberman, immanence is the "generalized flux, the folding of each thing within each thing, ubiquitous life, that porous substance dedicated to turbulence – and with it, a critical effect on representation, a manner of dissolving the individual aspects in the milieu as a whole" (44). There is a lot of force of movement in this concept of immanence that is predicated in the act of creation the artist or writer sees him/herself as performing in the process of making. Rather than arguing for the teleological hermeneutics of imagination, Didi-Huberman asks that we engage instead with Victor Hugo's conceptualization of the wave as a poetic metaphor; one that gestures rather than represents, depicts rather than imagines, contacts rather than distances (52).

[9] How now do we throw figurality into the collective imaginings? Dieter Mersch in "Imagination, Figurality and Creativity" thinks that creativity provides the bridge between figurality and imagination. Creativity has evolved from a divine event into a symbolic order. According to Mersch, Cassirer understood how symbolic conciseness can be a process of form-giving and shaping, which therefore anticipates the idea of figuration (59). Hence, the three theses on creativity that tie into the title of his article are; an "unchangeable difference" that cannot be derived simply from "symbolization, production effects and construction," the necessity of changing one's perspective on how one views creativity by locating it on a non-discursive and non-constructive aspect of the cultural since the process of reflexivity is already present, and in relation to that, to regard imagination and figurality as hiding that reflexive potentiality (60-1). Where does intuition stand in all these? Ludger Schwarte in "Intuition and Imagination: How to See Something that is Not There" argues that the experience of missing something is entailed by the integrity of the imaginative flows among the different actors involved, if one defines imagination thus as a collective performance of perception that is susceptible to a change in a symbolic order. In conjunction with that, fulfillment plays a role in linking imagination to the intuitive by plugging into the lack. [6] Hence, "intuition, as the fissure in the world where perception takes place, is in touch with this organization and creates out of it the mode of existence of a thing" (74).

[10] If the articles in Part I attempt a dialectical positioning of the imagination, Part II wants to look at the significance of imagination in application by examining successively the notion of the picture, the gaze, the recognition and the movement as being inextricable from the image. Marie José Mondzain kicks off this section by asking the question of how an imaging subject is a narrative of a subject that can either become or not become. He brings onto the table an analysis of iconoclasm in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to demonstrate the different attitudes and critical tensions among these traditions; the iconoclast "defended the invisibility of the image that he saw all the more, despite the visible being the field where ecclesiastical power was determined to triumph over imperial power (82)." However, the iconoclast is unable to see itself except at a distance and in detachment from the self. But this irreducible distance also separates the person from his/her own face. Hence, to quote Mondzain by way of Jean-Luc Godard, displacement is intrinsic to being without fear. Yet, the common world shared by these three monotheistic religions is represented by an order that is both temporal and atemporal stemming from the need to balance between the demands of the 'kingdom' with that of the human. Hence, this displacement and ability to gaze from a distance segues into Hans Belting's "The Gaze in the Image: A Contribution to an Iconology of the Gaze," which is his contribution into the anthropology of the image. In this article, Belting attempts to relocate the position of the gaze between the subject of the self and of the other, an act that is performative, physiological and conscious. The gaze is where intentions, events and conditions compete with each other. One is able to capture a movement and bring it to a standstill. The gaze of the artist on his/herself and the process of mastering that gaze is a spectacle of the image of the Western culture. The gaze is performed regardless of whether it is of a self-portrait in a painting, a mirror image reflected in an artwork or lure from the camera. Nonetheless, the gaze discussed here is very much a cognate process that subordinates the body to mind's perception. This is something that Mathias Obert, the aforementioned Sinologist, wants to challenge in his "Imagination or Response? Some Remarks on the Understanding of Images and Pictures in Pre-modern China." For him, Chinese art is not voyeuristic by nature but acts as medium for encouraging encounters between persons or in establishing a gateway to the world through pictures and images. Visuality is not confined into a framed space in Chinese art and our view of Chinese art should not be restricted by the contours of the lines that frame an image. Each brush stroke enacted by the artist is the inscription of the artist's body onto his/her work, and this results in an aesthetic responsiveness that expands the artist's perception beyond his/her vision. Hence, in the contemplation of a Chinese scroll painting, perception takes place through the procession from one point to another in a sort of loose disjointment with each other, not unlike that of a progressively linear movement (124). The analysis provided here places Chinese art none too differently from pre-modern Western art form, particularly medieval art. Moreover, one has to understand this in the context of pre-modern Chinese painting, as modern Chinese painting has undergone heavy influences from Western theories of aesthetics. Going from the bodily inscribed sign of the brush-wielding artist that renders bodily recognition to the painting produced, and face recognition as investigated in cognitive neuroscience, seems a big leap epistemologically. However, both bodily recognition and facial recognition are still in the same plane ontologically because of their connection to 'bodily-intelligence'. Facial recognition, with possible misrecognition, is what the third article "The Nature of Face Recognition: A Perspective from the Cognitive Neurosciences" by David Poeppel and Clare Stroud is about. Image-making would not have been possible without facial recognition and now science wants to study the processing involved in the performation of recognition. Of course, the art historians such as Gombrich had provided a qualitative analysis of such processes since the study of perception is an intrinsic part of art history. However, the question invariance raises has not found a resolute explanation but is now the preoccupation of cognitive neuroscientists who feel that they can now provide the empirical data needed to support further analysis and hypotheses. One of the problems they tackled when it comes to invariance is how a person can perform specialized facial recognition, and how the different schools of thoughts (nativist, specialization and accumulative learning) come into play in providing the required theories and hypotheses. The growth of imaging technology such as fMRI allows the researchers to detect and track the different areas of activation in the cerebral cortex as the different modes of recognition are performed. The authors take a qualitative stance that for them, bypasses the paradox of the qualia, which is that one should see a grimace as an activation of different muscles on the face rather than an attempt to elucidate the singular qualities of a grimace.

[11] Part III takes a step away from the abstract pontification of the image to talk about the material invocation of the image through bodily gestures and signs. The body is invested with resources for generating laws and rules, with "images of violence playing an important role in the imaginary (156)." "The Neapolitan Gesture" by Gunter Gebauer is premised on the notion that the configuration of objects in reality, including gestures, is not derived from thoughts, but from elements of the bodily movement that pre-exists language and thoughts. [7] Humans are capable of persistent repetitions of particular practices, and these could come in the form of observation or mimicry. Gestures are performed with meaning intended since the entire body is involved. The post-Tractatus Wittgenstein takes on the rule-governed nature of physical practices as the starting point for trying to understand how language is imbued with reason. Hence, the "language of gestures marks the transition from bodily action to higher linguistic forms of organization via the logic of practice" only because language is always that third term between the body and mind (164). Hence, if gestures cause the genesis of reason that pre-exists language, "ritual enactments and bodily performances of social life produce mental images which, when recalled from memory, are less material and intense than perceived images (166)," according to Christoph Wulf in his "Images of Social Life." For Wulf, plans for future actions are predicated upon the transformation of past actions, and this transformation is made possible by the "iconic nature" (imagistic characteristic) of memory and of those future plans. This becomes particularly evident when differences are created between and from recalled images, by connecting these images to other contexts and creating something new out of these connections (167). These connections are deemed as having origins and cultural worlds. Habitual modes are developed by individuals and the differentiation between individuality and subjects corresponds to the development of images of social life as informed by modern media. The modern media enacts a mimetic process (as the images from the media become ritualized in one's consciousness) by which the performance of social practices are transferred to representation and mental images (174).

[12] "Performative Spaces and Imagined Spaces: How Bodily Movement Sets the Imagination in Motion" by Erika Fischer-Lichte and "Media Images, Sports Rituals and the Imaginary" by K Ludwig Pfeiffer sit well together as the former sets the ontological background for the proliferation of the latter's thesis. Fischer-Lichte uses theater as the metaphor to argue for a performative space that comes into being as people and animals move to it. She argues that, as we watch the movements of actors/performers and listen to the sounds their produce, we can perceive the fluid performance space as ever-changing. For her, this perception often goes hand in hand with the process of imagining particular spaces, and she gives the comparative example between the theater and the museum. After all, according to Fischer-Lichte, visitors to a museum would make their way around according to a guiding-plan. [8] Therefore, when a spectator moves through the space of a city, for example, and then transforms that movement into continuously changing performative spaces, the spectator is brought into a liminal state. As for Pfeiffer, the psycho-culturally important analysis of the bodily experience is offered through the intersection of sports and media. According to him, the dramatic techniques of negotiation and mediation reflect the hope that imaginative liveliness and its dramatic distancing can be played out in forms of sports that concentrate on physical fights and their media enactments (190). This is because a person mediates constantly between implicit sensory-motor and explicit, strongly visual patterns of action. The interpenetration of sports and modern media lead to the "reenchantment" of the world and the saturation of the real. Hence, the bodies involved are "integrated into verbal emotional codes" (193-9). This section on the body culminates in an article on violent memories of the body embodied in the "Ferocious Images" article by Peter Sloterdijk, tracing the motif of violence in Greek mythology and kinship structures. According to Sloterdijk, the "image of violence can have an effect" and be read "as its continuation and duplication, as if the images were the followers of the cause." In addition, violence is also a refraction and dilution as a reflection on something that is not any of these actions and also a confrontation between opposing powers (206). Power thrives in its representation, and sometimes this becomes a ritual of sacrifice and self-destruction. Sloterdijk postulates a link between the modern day expressions of violence in the gradations between warfare and the cult of the horror film through shared cultural postmodern epistemology due to the technological escalations that has changed the subjectivity of the subject, thus creating a subject with a propensity to violence. To be a subject means to "serve as the medium of explosions" (212).

[13] The last two parts of the collection turns the conversation to the technology of the image in the arts and sciences. Part IV is about the indeterminacy and fuzziness of images, and these are theoretically elucidated in "Indeterminacy: On the Logic of the Image" by Gottfried Boehm and "Between Imitation and Simulation: Towards an Aesthetics of Fuzzy Images" by Bernd Huppauf. Boehm uses Impressionistic paintings to discuss the relationality between the eyes of the observer and that of color and form. He suggests that because short and distinct pathways are cut off from the eyes, one is able to allow for the clear and rapid relation of colors and forms to very specific things. It is this indeterminacy in the point of travel between the eye and the object of art that Boehm argues to be the distinguishing factor between Cezanne and his predecessors. The notion of the qualia is disrupted when color is no longer attributed to objects but to the primary quantity itself, whose facticity renders the "spectacle of nature visible" (220). The fact that indeterminacy relates to the singularity of artistic concepts and the different modalities of visual unsharpness is also an aspect of Huppauf's arguments about fuzzy images. For Huppauf, fuzziness transcends the world of visual representation by ignoring our usual conceptions that the image must be sharp and determinate. Fuzziness is an 'iconic' gesture that withdraws the image from its reality and hovers between representation and the dissolution of mimetic correspondence with the signified (230). This relationship between sharpness and unsharpness resides asymmetrically, with gradients of degrees and rules, not unlike the gradation scales we find in imaging software. One can perhaps therefore situate the advent in fuzziness with the advent in technologies that allow the intentional production of fuzzy images, and Huppauf relates that to the creation of photography. This is another break from the Cartesian notion of clarify, distinctiveness, certainty and order in the production of knowledge. According to Huppauf,

Fuzziness draws the gaze into a sphere of uncertainties that leads to disorientation and, at the same time, captures the gaze, fascinating it. The simultaneity of representing and not representing is confusing. And this confusion, we can interpret Wittgenstein saying, is needed in our relationship with images. It frees the image from the lifeless sameness of identity. (245)

If Huppauf uses photography to discuss dissolution of oppositions and the art of eroticity that envelops the viewer in a world of "dreams and reveries," thus allowing the attribution of femininity to photography through fuzziness and blurring of certainties, Rebecca Schneider in "A Small History (of) Still Passing" concentrates on photography because of its locus in media studies as a visual ground that is fundamental to film and resilient in image culture. She argues for the primacy of "still" in the heart of moving images, which struggles to reassert the medium of specificity in photography at the moment of its obsolescence. According to her, living still blurs the distinction between the live and that which has passed because the image that is captured is here yet not here. She uses Benjamin's notion of the 'still real' to talk about how the future persists not in "the photographic moment of the shot" but in its complicity with the encounter of the still (264). The question of mimesis surfaces in Gabriele Brandstetter's "Scribbling, Scraping off, Painting over: Effacing Pictures in Literary Texts" and Lessing's essay "Laocoon: An Essay on the Limits of Painting and Poetry" becomes the central figure in a poetological reflection on the transition between text and picture, as well as literature and music. Mimesis seems to be reflective of the Pygmalion effect in literature that calls into question the concept of imitation and its tension with truth and expression. The status of the picture is called into question; picture is situated in a concatenation of creation and effacement. Yet, Brandstetter argues that the "homo pictor is the homo narrator" because the narrating of the picture has overtaken the painting of it. "Shapes placed in firm positions on the canvas are replaced by a mobile projection of shadows, of elusive forms in images, motions, configurations of narrative than can always be revoked" (274). Maybe that is why Kierkegaard favors audio-reception (such as the shutting of one's eyes when listening to music in a concert hall) over sight as sight is deceiving. The final article in this section by Martin Puchner, "Kierkegaard's Shadow Figures" details Kierkegaard's seminal doctoral thesis (beyond the fact that he was writing in Danish at a time when most academic writing was done in Latin) on the art of comedy in theater. Philosophical theater is privileged in Kierkegaard above the drama of spectrum of emotive masks one finds in Aristotelian dramatics as represented in his Poetics, though that did not stop the former from trying to capture the dramatic and theatrical irony of his own writing on this topic. However, this article stands out strangely from the rest in this section, and even of the other sections, for it doesn't seem to deal directly with the concept of image and the imagination except by using the latter as a philosophical medium. Nonetheless, the final paragraph of this article most clearly outlines what the author is trying to do, which is to revisit the notion of the Platonist Theater in terms of Plato's dancing shadows in the cave, which represent a philosophy steeped in theatrical figures. "Part shadow theater and part puppet theater, the cave presents a theater of bodies and objects made of various types of material, but these materials cast shadows that are in turn immaterial" (292).

[14] The final part of this collection is not so much the reflections of all the other parts, but instead attends to the discussion of visual constructions. This section draws most concretely on the concept of image as made possible by technological invention and proliferation. "The Unspeakable and the Unimaginable: Word and Image in a Time of Terror" by W.J.T. Mitchell discusses the "invagination of word and image" through the allegorical and emblematic dictation of a determinate verbal signifier by bringing it to bear on the contemporary media images of terrorism. He argues that the nature of image-making and of war-making has undergone radical transformations because of the 'real-time' reproduction and proliferation of acts of terror at its very making. The unrepresentable can be somewhat simulated, such as the cult of trauma and the Holocaust industry combining to perform a "virtual liturgy" (299–302). And then, there is the blocking of the scopic and vocative in the scenes of decapitation, and such images are now recorded and circulated in their most hideous manifestations. Mitchell uses the trope of the clone to represent the reviled and horrifying in order to demonstrate the impossibility of blocking-out offending images, such as that obtained from the Abu Ghraib detention camp. Trauma is also a trope in Gertrud Koch's article "Face and Mass: Towards an Aesthetic of the Cross-Cut in Film" and is understood as a concept of "scattered memory-image that has lost its function as a model and or linguistic proposition" (314). In trauma, the coherence in a narrative or a scene is disrupted and destroyed. Since the reference to time is now lost, the traumatic image loses the ability to form a coherent historiography which self-narration usually provides. Hence, the "flash" received is analogous to photographic shots of a memory that is destroyed. Koch connects the flashback and traumatic disruption to the notion of cross-cutting in the depiction of multi-perspectivalism via the montage structure of a film. However, the cut emphasizes a cut as a distinctive insertion into, and divergence from homogenous time and space. For Koch, the pictorial turn precedes the linguistic turn because the "insistence upon the pictorial nature of experience forms the basis for early reflections on film and cinema." Due to the more fragile semiosis of film, images could capture the experience of contingency better than language, and this, Koch argues, is grasped by the utopic atmosphere of early film theory.

[15] The final two articles in this section, "Synaesthesia: Physiological Diagnosis, Practice of Perception, Art Program: A Semiotic Re-analysis" by Roland Posner and Dagmar Schmauks and "Recognisability and Visual Evidence in Medical Imaging versus Scientific Objectivity" by Britta Schinzel represent the incursions of scientific facticity into the semiotics of imaging. The article on synaesthesia is an overview of how synaesthesia has been received and conceived in art and there is nothing particularly new in the arguments evinced. What the authors try to do here is to show how synaesthesia has always been an unconscious production of art, and that it exists also as a physiological condition, such as in the case of number-synaesthesia where a person involved has a different color sensation when dealing with different numbers. As for the final article in this book on medical imaging and scientific objectivity, the epistemic evolution that imaging has undergone since humans first created images by using abstract mathematical and computational frameworks to generate the image prior to our sensorial relationship to it is presented. [9] The growing complexity of the digital imaging instruments mean that more layers can be elucidated and more complex forms of data could be mined and computed. They create visualizations through complicated means of data generation and computational transformation (344). The use of mathematics in the imaging processes is just a small step away from the actual simulation of available data under different environmental stresses. As more complex mathematical representations are built into the imaging tools, one need not only see three dimensional rotations and layers of the 'breadloaf' human [10] but can manipulate, deform, interpolate, and reterritorialize each individual segments of the sliced-up body.

[16] In conclusion, inspite of the erudition of the authors, and the breadth of theories and ideas explored in this book, there is nothing that is particularly extraordinary or radical in many of the analyses ventured, though there are insights that are useful in contributing to the scholarship of the image. However, the book offers to scholars interested in the potential of an interdisciplinary exploration of image theory an array of possible critical directions. Moreover, there is a 'gesture' towards ontological reconfigurations of the existing noumenon that can be further interrogated to produce new forms of perceptions.


[1] There are some invocations of Derrida and Butler (more of the former than the latter); the former in the discussion of speech/discourse/language in the interrogation of word/image distinction and latter because of her contribution to performativity and queerness.

[2] Of course, there has always been work in animal phenomenology such as that by Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, but with the rise of animal studies, there has been more concerted exploration into this field.

[3] Such as thinking in terms of the use-value and even-value of the images.

[4] An example they gave is how monism based on physiological (scientific epistemologically-based) theories of perception would contravene theories of images developed through anthropological and philosophical disciplines.

[5] The Foucauldian notion of "aesthetics of existence," "technologies of the self," and "self-care" are invoked here.

[6] Mersch has examples of the milk flowing out of the breast of the Statue of the Virgin Mary in Bernhard's vision as a medieval allegory to typify the fulfilling commitment of the beholder, and the Van Gogh painting of a pair of old farmer's shoes in Heidegger's essay Work of Art to discuss that which is not painted (the same essay landing him in a controversy with an old-school art historian).

[7] This is particularly true since much of the movements of the human body are controlled by the medulla oblongata and sections of the brain that oversee involuntary movements.

[8] There is an allusion here to acts of flâneurie when she uses Tony Bennett's description of the museum as comparable to Conan Doyle's detective stories. Walter Benjamin has used detective stories by Edgar Allan Poe to argue for the figure of the detective and detection as an act of flâneurie. However, this seems to be contradicted when she says that the "narrative machinery of the museum's 'backtelling' took the form of an itinerary whose completion was experienced as a task requiring urgency and expedition."

[9] I am aware of the irony of my statement here since the sensorial is not necessarily predicated on direct correlations between the ontic and the subject of the object.

[10] This is in reference to the Visible Human Project. See «www.nlm.nih/gov/research/visible/visible_human.htm