Aarhus University Seal

New DARC book: Operational Images

Professor Jussi Parikka’s new book Operational Images: From the Visual to the Invisual has just been published. Growing out of a research project on the transformation of photography in digital culture, the book engages with filmmaker, artist Harun Farocki’s famous term “operational images”.

The book details their many roles as technologies of analysis, capture, measurement, diagramming, laboring, (machine) learning, identification, tracking, and destruction. Parikka is specifically interested in how operational images extend their reach far beyond militaristic and colonial violence and into the realms of artificial intelligence, data, and numerous aspects of art, media, and everyday visual culture. The book extends from pioneering work by artists such as Farocki, Hito Steyerl and Trevor Paglen to dialogues and case studies with other contemporary artists such as Geocinema and Rosa Menkman as well as designers such as Scanlab and Liam Young.
Operational Images explores the implications of machine vision and the limits of human agency. In Benjamin Bratton’s words: “What is visual culture when most optical traces are generated by and for machines to interpret and operationalize? Jussi Parikka's masterful and concise book is a decisive moment in the study of 'ways of seeing' that goes beyond the standard anthropocentric tales of art history. Refreshingly, it forces us to see seeing in a whole new light.”
More info on the book on the publisher website:
open Access version of the book: