For Michel Serres, discursive consensus, veridiction, scientific facticity, and related ‘transparent’ and evidence-based modes of transmission are contingent upon the phobic elimination of impinging noise or ‘cacography’ from their communicative circuits. Cacography is the noise of graphic form, whether discursive, scopic, or embodied, that can equivocally disrupt or re-entrench hierarchies of credibility and their sanitized channels of transmission. Cacographic verification is a traumatropology of truth. Allan Feldman’s focus lies with the scenic affirmation of sovereign right through the cacographic body as an assemblage of material and immaterial effects and affects. How do counterfeit realisms and a politics of nonlight (aphos) instate a sovereign act of violence as immaterial, insensible, intangible – as political noise or cacography? Empowering traumatropes of sovereignty and death are comparatively mapped via the Red Army Faction photo-paintings of Gerhard Richter and the counterfeit biometrical corpse archive forged by American kill teams in Afghanistan.
Political Anthropologist Allen Feldman is the author of three books, including Archives of the Insensible: Of War, Photopolitics, and Dead Memory (2015); Formations of Violence: The Narrative of the Body and Political Terror in Northern Ireland (1991). He has published numerous articles on visual culture and political violence the political sensorium of the body and on transitional justice. His essay ‘On the Actual Gaze: from Desert Storm to Rodney King’ (1994) pioneered the interface between visual culture and critical race theory. His latest publication ‘War Under Erasure: Contretemps, Disappearance, Anthropophagy, Survivance’ (2019) proposes collateral damage and enforced disappearance as scopic regimes under erasure. He is currently writing a book on omnivoyant war and the desubjectivation of vision. He is Professor of Media, Culture and Communication and teaches the politics of the gaze, media archeology, and the philosophy of media at New York University.
Stéphanie Benzaquen-Gautier and Afonso Dias Ramos for Art Histories, in cooperation with the ICI Berlin
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