Serie, The Programmable Image
The Programmable Image

From May to mid-July, Jonathan Beller dedicated his blog series to "The Programmable Image." Photography, the writing with light, has had at least as profound an impact on planetary life as linear writing. Arguably, photography creates a crisis for linear writing and its affordances including linear thinking and linear time. Today the photographic image has become inseparable from politics, semiotics, sociality, finance, the security state, and computation. Indeed actually existing planetary life presupposes photography, and one could say that globality consists of the complex interactivity that constitutes photography. Recently Beller has proposed the notion of the programmable image as a way of rethinking the geo-political relation between photography, computation, sociality, and political economy. His blog posts are an endeavor to further develop and test this concept.

Jonathan Beller is Professor of Humanities and Media Studies and Director of the Graduate Program in Media Studies at Pratt Institute. Books include, The Cinematic Mode of Production: Attention Economy and the Society of the Spectacle (2006), Acquiring Eyes: Philippine Nationalist Struggle and the World-Media System (2006), and The Message is Murder: Substrates of Computational Capital (Pluto Press, forthcoming 2017).