Cold Case No. 1. Modernism: Photography in the Morgue
Forgetting indeed remains the disturbing threat that lurks in the background of the phenomenology of memory and the epistemology of history. Forgetting is, in this respect, the emblematic term for the historical condition … the emblem of the vulnerability of this condition.
– Paul Ricoeur, Memory, History, Forgetting (2004)
What’s at Stake?
The Case File Remains Open
‘The Reaper is employed primarily as an intelligence-collection asset and secondarily against dynamic execution targets. Given its significant loiter time, wide-range sensors, multi-mode communications suite, and precision weapons, it provides a unique capability to perform strike, coordination, and reconnaissance against high-value, fleeting, and time-sensitive targets.’
Writing in e-flux in November 2014, Trevor Paglen noted that ‘Harun Farocki was one of the first to notice that image-making machines and algorithms were poised to inaugurate a new visual regime. Instead of simply representing things in the world, the machines and their images were starting to “do” things in the world. In fields from marketing to warfare, human eyes were becoming anachronistic. It was, as Farocki would famously call it, the advent of “operational images.”’