Streetography: on visual resistance


Authors
Hagi Kenaan
Tel Aviv University
Abstract
This article offers a philosophical account of a range of urban phenomena that are integral to the visual fabric of the modern city and, at the same time, external to the visual order administered by the city’s rulers. Explaining why the common terms of “graffiti” and “street art” are too narrow for discussing the plurality of the illicit visual forms that populate the city’s space, I coin the alternative term “streetography” and aim at a new understanding of its visual efficacy. This is done by showing that the key for deciphering the streetograph’s unique visuality is its form of embeddedness in the street and, in a corollary manner, the form of visual experience—the kinds of viewing—that the street opens for the urban viewer.Streetographs always operate within the city’s given visual order and as such the question of their efficacy is addressed here in terms of the streetograph’s relationship to that hegemonic visual rule whose basic traits are also clarified. Developing an understanding of this relationship, the article thus addresses the following questions: What kind of resistance can streetographs provide to the kind of optics that governs the modern urban space? Can streetographs evoke an alternative kind of spectatorship that disrupts the sovereign’s imagination? And, more specifically, in an epoch in which streetographs are regularly absorbed into capitalist aesthetics—advertising, cinema, social media—how can they allow us to rethink the possibility of resisting the measure of a global capitalist visual system?
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DOI 10.1080/20539320.2016.1256069
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References found in this work BETA

The Practice of Everyday Life.Michel de Certeau - 2002 - University of California Press.
Street Art: The Transfiguration of the Commonplaces.Nick Riggle - 2010 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 68 (3):243-257.
The Ground of the Image.Jean-Luc Nancy - 2005 - Fordham University Press.
Facing Images: After Levinas.Hagi Kenaan - 2011 - Angelaki 16 (1):143-159.
The World at a Glance.Edward S. Casey - 2000 - In Fred Evans & Leonard Lawlor (eds.), Chiasms: Merleau-Ponty's Notion of Flesh. State University of New York Press. pp. 147-164.

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