April 11, 2018

“Can we devise another powerful descriptive tool that deals this time with matters of concern and whose import then will no longer be to debunk but to protect and to care, as Donna Haraway would put it?”1

“The field of forensics can be understood as the torture of objects, which are expected to tell all, just as when humans are interrogated. Things often have to be destroyed, dissolved in acid, cut apart, or dismantled in order to tell their full story.”2

“The bruises of images are its glitches and artifacts, the traces of its rips and transfers. Images are violated, ripped apart, subjected to interrogation and probing. They are stolen, cropped, edited, and re-appropriated. They are bought, sold, leased. Manipulated and adulated. Reviled and revered. To participate in the image means to take part in all of this.”2

Wasn’t this exactly what happened to the previous images of the turtle, what I did to the video of the turtle, what I did to the people in the video, what I did to the turtle, what I did to the Vortex? The video, with all it’s “bruises of its crashes with politics and violence” 2 , was deconstructed and reconstructed, purposefully metamorphosed, or maybe more like disfigured, to try and tell the story, not if itself, not of the actual story of the video, but of what surrounded what happened in the video — the careless dumping of plastic in the ocean, the feeding of the Vortex. “You didn’t actually save the turtle you fucking fools, you only undid what you had already contributed to yourselves!”.

Maybe I should do the same.

The violence I put the video/turtle/vortex/people through is done, it can never be undone. But maybe I can mend some of my faults? What will happen if I “protect and care”1 for the video? For the turtle? For the people? For the Vortex? If I put the video back together, reassemble the disassembled pieces and try my best to represent a fair representation of what the video represented, have I maybe undone some of the violence it was put through to tell a story I wanted to tell? Bruno Latour regretfully tries to explain that “The question was never to get away from facts but closer to them[…]”. Maybe this reconstruction is one way for me to repent.

Anton Lindström

1. Latour, ‘Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern’, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 30 (2004), pp. 232
2. Steyerl, “A Thing Like You and Me”, e-flux journal, Vol. 15 (2010)


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