“Scopic Reflections: Incoming and the Technology of Exceptionalism", catalogue published on the occasion of Richard Mosse: Incoming, 15 February – 23 April 2017, published in 2017 by Barbican Curve Gallery, London EC2Y 8DS United Kingdom. ISBN 978 0 9957082 0 4

Downey, Anthony (2017) “Scopic Reflections: Incoming and the Technology of Exceptionalism", catalogue published on the occasion of Richard Mosse: Incoming, 15 February – 23 April 2017, published in 2017 by Barbican Curve Gallery, London EC2Y 8DS United Kingdom. ISBN 978 0 9957082 0 4. Barbican Curve Series, 27 (n/a). Barbican Gallery, London, UK, pp. 21-25. ISBN ISBN 978 0 9957082 0 4

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Abstract

Richard Mosse's Incoming was made using a thermal camera’s powerful telescopic reach and shot from a distance of between 5 and 15 kilometres, well beyond the capacity of the human eye to register such detail. This essay critically explained the basis of this technology and how it is used extensively in surveillance and weapon systems. Mosse's subject matter included images of refugees boarding rescue boats, or huddled along the shores of the coastal city Ayvacık in Turkey. He also filmed asylum applicants enduring a limbo-like existence in the make-shift camp that is now housed in Berlin’s former Tempelhof Airport. This essay sought to contextualise how the scenes we witness in Incoming bear a distinct resemblance to reality but seem to have undergone a fundamental transmutation in both substance and character that relates to the surveillance economy that surrounds the representation of migration today.

Item Type: Book
Additional Information: I worked with the artist Richard Mosse and the curator Alona Pardo to develop the research into this complex work. As part of my research methods, I explored thermographic cameras and how they, in depicting warm objects against a cooler background, generate images that are thereafter digitally assembled for video output. The research also explored bio-political exceptionalism — through the work of Giorgio Agamben and as evidenced in the vectors of power and knowledge that determine the refugee — and how it is revealed in surveillance technology in the form of thermal imaging. This can, the essay argued, arbitrarily define the refugee as a homogenous, nondescript and biological property rather than subject.
Identification Number: ISBN 978 0 9957082 0 4
Date: 2017
Subjects: J500 Materials Technology not otherwise specified
W100 Fine Art
W900 Others in Creative Arts and Design
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > School of Art
Depositing User: Anthony Downey
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2019 11:28
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 11:28
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8260

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