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The Processes of Imaging / The Imaging of Processes

Concept and Coordination: Bettina Papenburg, Liv Hausken, Sigrid Schmitz

New imaging technologies alter our access to a variety of phenomena. Subsequently, these technologies not only shape and change our experience, knowledge and conceptualization of these phenomena, but also impact social practices, discourses and power relations. Feminist critiques of imaging processes and technologies have addressed their roles in shaping the optics of race, gender, sexuality, and ability; their foundations in colonial, capitalist, and military projects; as well as their appropriation for alternative, counter, or resistant ways of seeing.

Emerging imaging practices establish new connections between different scientific, artistic, and societal fields, challenge traditional boundaries between these fields, and established divisions of labor. Imagination, for one, is no longer seen as confined to the domain of art, but refers instead to the role of thinking or conjecture at the heart of any process of imaging. At the same time, new imaging technologies confront taken for granted notions and theories of images and imaginations, of the visible and the knowable, and thus open up fruitful illuminations of the roles or agencies of technology and materiality.

These contexts prompt a rethinking of the processes of imaging / the imaging of processes. Focusing on the processes of imaging means to foreground the dynamics of imaging and imagination, and the ways in which these dynamics are embedded in established conceptual landscapes as well as assessing how they contribute to changing such landscapes. Examining the imaging of processes involves attending to the processual qualities and the emergent potentials of the objects of investigation such as plasticity, movement and the relational dynamics of the objects under study in visualization, ranging from the cosmos, to faces and brains, and from tissues to cells and organelles, to bodies, technologies, and social formations. What is needed is a critical and creative engagement with the complex and entangled ways of creating images, ranging from the conceptual and theoretical situations that call for new imaging technologies, via the constructions of these technologies, through registration and storage of phenomena, to dissemination, experience and interpretation, and finally to the effects, or functioning of these images in their environments.


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