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Hito Steyerl, How Not to be Seen:
A Fucking Didactic Educational >MOV File

Hito Steyerl ‘stays up with’ the latest consumer technologies in order to stay informed of the latest desires, politics and complications and works with ‘GIF Telepathy’ or the ‘shareable’ telepathy of the poor image. She notes that contemporary reality is already so fantastic that she couldn’t invent it and that in this condition it is necessary to deploy. Her work How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational >MOV File offers lessons in disappearance and instructions on how to pretend you are not there, some of which are to wear an invisibility cloak, to be a superhero, or to be a woman over fifty. Steyerl extends the lineage of conceptual art central engagement with the invisible and dematerialisation, as well as waveform phenemona of image visibility, transmissibility and modulation (ultrasonic and electromagnetic) whilst placing a greater emphasis on the spectral politics of images. Steyerl also champions the poor image as a way to transform quality into accessibility and this degraded and over-deseminated image is not just a communist strategy it is also a strategy for the sharing of affect and of telepathic transmission. By staying up to speed with avatars, DARPA, drones, imaging and surveillance technology Steyerl’s work inevitably chases new distributions of the sensible and thus new technotelepathy, and new politics of empathy. How Not to be Seen is a deadpan and technist demonstration and deconstruction of the magic of visual illusion in contemporary media, for example how a camera crew disappears after invisible rays emanate from an iPhone.

 
hs14-001-2