Drawing on several images from both military weapons systems and digital media artists, this paper sketches a critical phenomenology of the surface at the intersection of human sensoria and technological media—at the screenic sites where complex technological, social, and corporeal operations become perceivable events. Certain visual technologies, in both their vernacular and official uses, from the digital cameras at Abu Ghraib to the recent Gorgon Stare Reaper drone program, serve simultaneously to both document and implement acts of war. At the same time, the practices of digital artists have sought, in the same convergent digital milieu, to address, reframe, and think through these emerging militarized modes of perception. Engaging the work of Michal Rovner, Jenny Holzer, Martha Rosler, and Wafaa Bilal as “objects to think with,” this paper works toward a transmedial theory of the screenic by attending the way these digital-artistic practices address and are addressed by the interpenetration of technological media (the screen) and corporeal media (the human sensorium) in the context of war.
- Adam Tobias Schrag is completing his doctorate in English at the University of Minnesota, USA. His research investigates the entangled screens of war and media technologies that create and regulate the visual fields of war from the 1960s to the present. adamschrag.net
Full text (PDF) p. 2188-2193 [title slightly different]