7 months ago
Hito Steyerl’s artworks interrogate the explosion of images on the internet. She proposes that reframing and accelerating the circulationism of advertising, where the never-ending cascade of images produces only alienation, may collapse capitalism’s celebration of the ‘cult of productivity, acceleration, and heroic exhaustion’ (Steyerl, 2014, p.37). In How not to be seen. A fucking didactic educational .mov file (2013) she explores survival strategies in a culture of surveillance and recommends masquerading as a pixel or wearing a green screen camouflage costume. In Lesson 4 the narrator suggests other techniques for becoming invisible, such as ‘living in a gated community’, ‘being a superhero’, and ‘being female and over 50’, (Steyerl, 2013). Steyerl contends that the world and the image are in excess of each other rather than an opposition of real and imagined, and she speculates that digital networks may have simply accelerated images to the extent that it made ‘too much world available’ (Steyerl, 2014, p.35). As art historian Sven Lutticken notes, while Steyerl’s reframing of circulationism may resemble neoliberal agility, her account is infused with Marx’s observations on the production of subjectivity, rather than mere objects, in the era of capitalism (Lutticken, 2014, p.50). Hito Steyerl, How not to be seen. A fucking didactic educational .mov file (2013), available at https://www.artforum.com/video/hito-steyerl-how-not-to-be-seen-a-fucking-didactic-educational-mov-file-2013-51651
Hito Steyerl, Too Much World. Is the Internet Dead?, ed. N. Aikens, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2014.
Sven Lutticken, ‘Hito Steyerl: Post cinematic essays after the future’, in Too Much World, ed. N. Aikens, Sternberg Press, Berlin, 2014.