Performing Image

Harbison, Isobel. 2019. Performing Image. Cambridge MA: The MIT Press. ISBN 9780262039215 [Book]

PI cover.jpg - Cover Image

Download (100kB) | Preview
[img] Text
IH.PI_1+2.pdf - Submitted Version
Permissions: Administrator Access Only

Download (1MB)

Abstract or Description

In Performing Image, Isobel Harbison examines how artists have combined performance and moving image in their work since the 1960s, and how this work anticipates a social turn toward performing images since the advent of smart phones and the spread of online prosumerism. Over this period, artists have used a variety of DIY modes of self-imaging and circulation-from home video to social media-suggesting how and why Western subjects might seek alternative platforms for self-expression and self-representation.

In the course of her argument, Harbison offers close analyses of works by such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Yvonne Rainer, Mark Leckey, Wu Tsang, and Martine Syms, woven between a concise historicisation of the term and function of the 'prosumer'. Although all the artists she examines express their relation to images uniquely, they also offer a vantage point on today's productive-consumptive image circuits in which billions of us are caught. This unregulated, all-encompassing image performativity, Harbison writes, puts us to work, for free, in the service of global corporate expansion. Harbison offers a three-part interpretive framework for understanding this new proximity to images as it is negotiated by these artworks, a detailed outline of a set of connected practices-and a declaration of the value of art in an economy of attention and a crisis of representation.

Item Type:



performance; moving image; contemporary art; social media; post-internet; prosumerism; feminism; digital economy; attention economy; museum studies; critical theory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



2 April 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2019 15:38

Last Modified:

19 Jun 2020 13:27


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)