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Image OperationsVisual media and political conflict$
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Jens Eder and Charlotte Klonk

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781526107213

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526107213.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 January 2020

Working images: Harun Farocki and the operational image

Working images: Harun Farocki and the operational image

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Working images: Harun Farocki and the operational image
Source:
Image Operations
Author(s):

Volker Pantenburg

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526107213.003.0004

This chapter traces the origins and implications of the ‘operational image’, as it has come to be explored in Harun Farocki’s texts and installations since 2000. Defined in Eye/Machine I (2000) as ‘Images without a social goal, not for edification, not for reflection,’ operational images pervade both the military and non-military realm of today’s life. To contextualise this type of image, three concepts are revisited that have explicitly informed Farocki’s understanding: Roland Barthes’ idea of ‘operational language’, Vilém Flusser’s ‘technical image’, and the project of a computer aided ‘Bildwissenschaft’ based on algorithmic image retrieval. After a closer analysis of some of the counter-operational strategies Farocki employs, the article suggests to distinguish three levels of operationality and to understand Farocki’s project as a film maker, video artist and thinker as a continuous examination of the operational potential of images.

Keywords:   Operational images, Harun Farocki, Military use of images, Montage, Counter-operationality, Computation, Simulation

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