The Power of the Precarious Aesthetic

Research project supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research | Humanities 2012-1215.

Contemporary visual culture offers an unprecedented amount of information through a ubiquity of cameras. However, within this culture of photographic transparency, we find a growing presence of images that are not merely enigmatic, but render our relation to what is represented precarious, by means of shaky cameras, out of focus imagery and visual noise. Paradoxically, such imagery is often preferred over transparent high fidelity imagery for their rhetoric and affective powers.

This project interrogates the operative logic wherefrom these images acquire their rhetorical and emotional power, so we can improve our understanding of why they are so powerful and the way they work across domains and media.