New Technologies of the Observer: #BringBack, Visualisation and Disappearance

Day, Sophie E. and Lury, Celia. 2017. New Technologies of the Observer: #BringBack, Visualisation and Disappearance. Theory, Culture & Society, 34(7-8), pp. 51-74. ISSN 0263-2764 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper explores two examples of non-visibility as a way of describing the specificity of contemporary surfaces of visualization. The two cases are the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the scheduled passenger flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, which lost contact with air traffic control on 8 March 2014 at 01:20 MYT, and the 276 Nigerian girls who went ‘missing’ at about the same time. The analysis is developed through an exploration of these examples in terms of the patterning of vision produced in recursive relations, or relations of feedback with the environment. We argue that changes in the organization of this feedback, which we describe as ‘rendition’, equip contemporary observers with both the capacity to see ‘close up at a distance’ and the capacity to be situated adjacent, next to or ‘beside from above’.

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double bind, double blind, rendition, surfaces, vision

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1 September 2017Accepted
10 November 2017Published Online
1 December 2017Published

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Date Deposited:

18 Sep 2017 13:25

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:34

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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