Passive Manipulation: A Look Across Three Speeds of Image

Publication Date

April 2019


Rachel Ellis Neyra


American Studies (AMST)


English (United States)


This is a story about advertisement’s burrowed residency in the culture of the visual -- by which I mean culture -- and how it may ultimately be frozen by continuous conflict and motion, here represented by the military and athletic industries. Picking up that stillness, I move to the notion of apocalypse as envisioned by the U.S. cinematic imaginary and its alternatives, wondering at the ability of slower, non-essentialist visualities to halt or expose the state’s obscuring of its concentrated violences. Finally, this story is about cyclical traumas of image constancy and denial alike, locating activity within ostensibly unvisual practices and experiences before exploring the attendant peril of violent identification. Over each of these three questionings lays a different speed of image: motion becomes stillness, which in turn is reduced to the afterimage, whose definition I take as overturning an image-hierarchy that values the obvious over the suggested. In each of these linked concepts and mediums I attempt to spot the moments, sensations and problems through which viewership is activated.

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