The Distributed Image

Stream – Archive – Ambience

Simon Rothöhler
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The ubiquity of digital images is an effect of their distributive versatility. They can be stored almost indefinitely, transmitted instantaneously, reproduced without transformations, visualized in many layers, dated and processed. Their mobilization does not take place randomly, but follows a complex media logistics of format standards, infrastructures and transport calculations. Digital images will be and are distributed: not as sessile objects, bindingly fixed entities, but as stream-like modulated processes. The study conceptualizes actors and agendas of image data traffic, examines retro-digitized archive image corpora in terms of media history and distribution histories, and deals with 'calmed' image sensor operations in intelligent environments.

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Simon Rothöhler is Professor of Visual Culture and Media Infrastructures at Ruhr University Bochum.
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