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Transformed to tautology

August 2, 2012

In Godard and Gorin’s Letter to Jane, the narrator notes how an image sometimes covers more than it reveals. The images of the disastrous war streaming online covers the disaster with image. The ultimate response is to re-post what is clicked on, to take “action,” to include it in another network of sympathy. There is no image that represents the ultimate disaster, that image was buried long ago under a visual inundation that has reduced the event into evidence. When buildings are diminished into rubble and city blocks into gravel, the image effaces everything that used to be and replaces history with its two-dimensional surface, blocking the access to what once was. The documentation only makes the atrocities more acceptable and accessible to vision and only asks for increased violence. The quantity of images does not increase what is known of a given situation, rather reroutes the situation into a quest for additional evidence, into the obscurity of the panorama. A mass grave documented from all angles remains a mass grave. Thus, “photography transforms reality into tautology.”

Free Syrian Army Attack A Tank Convoy, youtube still

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