Transversal Interference

  • Anna Munster


Increasingly, the images we regard as authoritative – those with a seem - ingly direct relation to the ”˜truth’ of our brains, profiling our identities, or mapping our universe – are not generated optically. They are composed out of other media, notably sonic and electromagnetic materialities, and other processes, primarily algebraic and statistical transforms. In actuality they are transmaterial assemblages. Yet such heterogeneous image enti - ties continue to command the epistemological privilege of indexicality that light-based images previously claimed. If the scientific, authoritative image is already constituted ”˜transgenically, ’ what implication does this have for interference as a viable aesthetic strategy? To what extent can artists and cultural producers visually interfere with the politics and ethics of such im - aging practices? This article suggests that we should abandon the strategy of interference as intervention in favour of a better understanding of in - terference as pattern, indeed fabric, subtending many contemporary non - visual imaging practices. I argue for a transversal diagrammatic approach to the nonvisual image; to diagramming as both a holding together and a dynamic deformation of images into new assemblages. In turn, such dia - grammatic practices reflexively remind us that what we see as fixed and authoritative images are instead processual, virtual and speculative modes of ”˜viewing’ and engaging life.