l seeing things l >>>

 >>> The Demand of Visibility within Knowledge Production > > >


>> introduction
       short overview

>> seeing things/

>> PCM/
       'Visibility is a trap'

>> Latour - Pasteur/
       the scientific image

>> Abstraction/
       the paradox status
        of the visual abstract

>> Conclusion/
       outlining along two         strings


>>    Print entire text

        (4 pages)
        pdf  or  .rtf


>>  movies
        (select the format)

       1. interpreting news
        > mov
        > wmv

       2. interpreted images

        > mov
        > wmv

      3. nightsight 2nd.
        > mov
        > wmv

Seeing things:
‘Seeing things’, so often had been connected to believing – as to convince ‘to see’, to fulfil the thought of a proof within visibility, which then in itself seems to be evidence enough. Thus keeping in mind that problems of scientific method/research were problems of history or better were historical phenomena, and are equally connected to the social, I refer to some quotation from an excerpt of N.Luhmann [1]:
Advances in substantial theory may have side effects on the theories that are supposed to control the research. Until the eighteenth century these problems were assigned to religion – the social system that specialized in tackling paradoxes. We have retained this possibility, but the normalization of paradoxes in modern art and modern science seems to indicate our desire to eventually get along without religion. Apparently our society offers the choice either to trust religion or to work off our own paradoxes without becoming aware that this is religion.

Today in western societies the creation of knowledge/ information is dominated by the logic belonging to a predominantly scientific view onto the world. In regards of the research of M.Foucault, which showed that relations of knowledge definitely are involved in relations of power, its all over impact on social constitution is evident. ‘The carceral network constituted one of the armatures of this network of power-knowledge that has made the human sciences historically possible’[2]. Nevertheless information is regarded as a social good, ignoring the awareness that the utopian desire to be ‘in the known’ never can be fulfilled. In my analysis I will try to reveal a self-constituting and self-referential setting of scientific vision, which can be implied in a paranoid formation, so to be seen at the example of Latour’s research.

This construction in turn evolves structures defining the parameters of in/visibility within the social. J.D.Faubion even suggests a phenomenological proximity of the social and paranoid experience, which defines itself a social and not merely a psychological phenomenon. So the conclusion is that the two modalities of experience always implicate also the other like presence does absence or visibility/invisibility. This framework of a more or less paradoxical setup, allows the concept of the 'seen' to operate as if self-constituted, though its interpretation remains strictly based from within this system of scientific and technological developments, which are evolving from a specific social context. Assuming knowledge/information production today mainly as related to 'making things visible', it equally has to be associated to the instruments developed and used for that process – especially, (but not only) in the field of scientific imaginary. Image production educing from seeing, now interpreted as a form of confusion/fusion of eye and sensual devices, indicates a switch from vision to visualisation. This development evolves further uncertainties through the usage of remote seeing devices especially in connection with the digital transformation into a coded form, which has to be de and re/coded again to be ‘readable’.

[1] Essays on Self-reference, Luhmann N., p.16/17
[2] Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Foucault M., p.350

>>> click into the images to enlarge   

official interpretation of satellite image

ultrasound image of foetus

layered nightsight news image

Appearance of Local Universe Galaxies at z = 1 - 15

> > > for the conference 'seeing things' at the University of Western Ontario, Canada; May 2nd - 4th/2003