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Towards an anthropology of future images: ethics, politics, and creativity 
Roger Canals (University of Barcelona)
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Faye Ginsburg (New York University)
Friday 10 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Most of current "images" do not fit the classic representational paradigm. How can we ethnographically study the relationships that people weave with these new "visual agents"? Can we use emerging visual forms to do, "write" and disseminate anthropology in a more ethical, creative and critical way?

Long Abstract:

Images used to be defined as visual signs or representations of the outside world. Yet this definition can be hardly applied to most of the "images" with which we interact nowadays. This is the case of "predictive images" generated by AI which "show" us how we will look like in the future; or of "images" made by scientists of what is not directly visible (DNA or the outer space). "Deep fakes" allow old photographs to "speak" and "move" -although they may also be a weapon for misinformation and hate speech. Our day-today life is saturated by graphics, curves and diagrams which appear as "objective" accounts of the world (while they are often a form of social control): we are in the age of visual data.

The emergence of these new visual forms raises original challenges for an anthropology of (and through) images. The first one is "theoretical": What is an "image" today? What kind of "images" should an anthropology of the future tackle? The second one refers to methodology: how can we ethnographically study the ways in which people from different socio-cultural milieu interact with these "new" images? Finally, the emergence of this visual regime prompts us to imagining new ways of "writing" and disseminating anthropology in a more ethical and creative way. Could we use AI for making "ethnographic films", experiments with drawings or immersive exhibitions? How?

This panel welcomes papers addressing issues related to the anthropology of/with (post)images, specially those combining a "theoretical" and an "applied" approach.

Discussant: Professor Faye Ginsburg (New York University)

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -