Thursday, 4 February 2010

Notes from "The Future of the image" by Jacques Ranciere

still from Au hasard Balthazar (1966) Robert Bresson

I. The Future of the Image

Let us start at the beginning. What is being spoken about, and what precisely are we being told, when it is said that there is no longer any reality, but only images? Or, conversely, that there are no more images but only a reality incessantly representing itself to itself?
If there is now nothing but images, there is nothing but the image. And if there is nothing other than the image, the very notion of the images becomes devoid of content.
Image, which refers to an Other, and the Visual, which refers to nothing but itself.
The television image has no Other by virtue of its very nature. In effect, it has its light in itself, while the cinematic image derives it from an external source. [...] "The image here has its light built-in. It reveals it self. With its source in itself, it becomes in our eyes its own cause. Spinozist definition of God or substance.
The nature of the amusement the television offers us, and of the affects it produces in us, is independent of the fact that the light derives from the apparatus. And the intrinsic nature of Bresson's images remains unchanged, whether we see the reels projected in a cinema or through a casette or disc on our television screen or a video projector. The Same is not one side, while the Other is on the other.

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