The Point Source: Blindness, Speech and Public Space

  • Adam Brown


One moving image, a video of events in Syntagma Square in 2011, shows a swarm of points of green light, created by laser pointers directed at the architecture surrounding the square from within the crowd, and a second still image with the word ”˜thieves,’ constructed from an array of red dots, is again projected onto the wall of Parliament, the location of speech. The laser pointer, a device intended to trace the progress of speech, and reinforce the agency of the individual speaker in a static visual presentation, is repurposed in the context of civil disturbance to both blind the agents of dominance and stigmatize the architects of crisis. In doing so, an implement of visibility and authority, a straight line emanating from the space of the logos, becomes implicated in the delineation and representation of the space of the public.

This paper represents an attempt to explore and create continuities and discontinuities between the binding-together of individual lasers/pixels in an assemblage, the chaotic movement of the individual laser/pixel, and the concerted activity of people acting in solidarity or chaotic revolt. The paper is constructed in order to implicate the carrier signal – the page, the screen – in the network which founds and funds both order and its opposites, as itself an active agent and producer of its own collectivities.