InVisible Culture

The electronic journal of visual culture InVisible Culture welcomes
submissions for issue 19,  "Blind  Spots." To  set  up  a  critical
conversation  under  the  thematic  framework  of “blindness” runs the
risk of holding one mode or locus of vision above others. In other words,
by inviting our peers to carry out their thinking with the question of
“blind spots” do  we  mean  to  encourage  a purely  negative  criticality
or  counter‐discourse  aimed  at new  technologies  of  vision,  of
revealing  their  artifice  and  lamenting  their  hegemony? Such concerns
might provisionally be put to rest when we consider blindness less as
a metaphor for criticism and more as an actual phenomenon, even how
blindness itself might  ground  a  phenomenology. In  considering  such
questions,  we  begin  by  inquiring into the horizon of vision as it
currently presents itself. It is as if everything increasingly makes itself
available to sight. Google now not only seeks to “organize the data of
the world” but evidently has in mind the visualization of that data as
well—of turning seeing itself into a question of data, as evident in the
company’s various projects (or products?) such  as  Google maps  and  its
latest  Google  glasses  technology.  In  part  because  of
this hyper‐availability  of  information  by  way  of  (for  instance)
technologies  of  algorithmic vision, seeing has not only become
de‐centered from the eye: the eye is itself becoming an obsolete organ, at
best a point of support for the manifold ways in which technology narrows
the space between itself and bodies. And yet, how might the blindness of
the eye—its “ability” to falter—assist us in thinking about these modes of
vision? In what ways can sensorial limits be understood as horizons of
possibility? What fresh insights might  a  critical  examination  of  past
 discourses  on  blindness  and  technological  vision offer to our current
understanding of contemporary technologies of augmented vision?

Another  question  we  hope  to  address  with  Issue  19,  then,  concerns
the  relationship between  blindness  as  a  condition  of  the  lived
body  and  blindness  as  a  condition attributable to certain media. In
Derek Jarman’s 1993 film Blue, film itself is taken up as a medium that
might provide the basis for reflecting on and even substituting for
the AIDS‐stricken artist’s own faltering vision. Comprised entirely of a
single, seamless blue image, Blue  incorporates  voice‐over  from  a
variety  of  sources  (including  Jarman)  as  a means  of  envisioning
what  is  “technically”  absent  to  sight.  Both  the  eye  and  the
film camera lens are, in the case of Blue, mediated by a larger poetics of
blindness. By mentioning the examples of emergent technologies of
algorithmic/augmented vision as  well  as  a  film  such  as  Jarman’s,
and  by  generally  proceeding  under  this  rubric  of “blind  spots,”
we  at  InVisible  Culture  wish  to  encourage  a  vibrant,
cross‐disciplinary conversation  and  to  stimulate  creative/artistic
work  concerning  the  rhetoric  of  vision and  blindness  from  the
perspective  of  our  culturally,  historically, and
technologically unique moment.

Topics could include:
new  media  and sensorial  “authenticity”
blindness  as  a critical‐discursive  symptom
blindness  and  affect
media decay/rejuvenation
medical  histories  of  blindness
blindness and the politics of (in)visibility
blind temporalities
technologies of visualization  including  stereoscopy,  3D  movies,
 and IMAX
blindness  and  cultural difference
code, algorithm, and augmented vision technologies
blindness as form and content
gender and blindness

Please  send  inquiries  and  completed  papers  of  between  4,000
and  10,000  words  to by September 1, 2012.

Creative/Artistic  Works
In  addition  to  written  material,  InVisible  Culture  is  accepting
visual  work  (in  video,  photography,  performance,  or  codework,  for
example)  that  reflects  on  blindness.  For  questions  or  more
details  concerning  acceptable  formats,  please  use  the  contact  form
on  our  website  with  the  subject  “Creative/Artistic  Work Submission.”

InVisible  Culture  currently  seeks  submissions  for  reviews  of  book,
exhibition, and  film  (600‐1000)  to  be  published  in  the  reviews
column  on  our  blog.  To  submit  a review proposal, please use the
contact form on our website with the subject “Review

The  journal  invites  post  submissions  to  our  blog  feature,  which
accommodates more immediate responses to the topic of the current issue.
For further details, please use the contact form on our website with the
subject “Blog Submission.”

Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture