Remaking Machines: Pragmatics and Politics of Photography

Comparative Literature Luncheon Series
Oct 26, 2015
12:15 PM to 01:30 PM
102 Kern

Dr. Gabriel Rockhill, Villanova

“The only sensible weapon against the cops,” Chris Marker presciently claimed in the 1960s, is “a film camera.” Exploring the ramifications of this statement in the context of the current struggles around the racial violence perpetrated by the police and vigilantes, this paper proposes a broad reflection on the social pragmatics of photography and its consequences. It begins by revisiting the question ‘what is photography?’ by inquiring into its supposed privileged relationship to the objective world. It argues that photography, far from simply capturing reality, is a powerful remaking machine that recomposes the very nature of the real. By resituating the photographic apparatus in a broad social pragmatics, it thereby seeks to elucidate its political power as a “sensible weapon.”

Gabriel Rockhill is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University and the Director of the Atelier de Théorie Critique in Paris. He is the author, most notably, of Interventions in Contemporary Thought: History, Politics, Aesthetics (forthcoming), Radical History & the Politics of Art (2014) and Logique de l’histoire (2010).

This lecture is a part of the Comparative Literature Luncheon series, a weekly informal lunchtime gathering of students, faculty, and other members of the University community featuring a presentation on a topic related to any humanities discipline.

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