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Screenshot Situations: Imaginary Realities of Networked Images

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Screenshots are images of the screen that capture what is on it at a particular moment in time. This documentary character makes them especially suited to register histories of technologies, art, and broader social and cultural practices that take place across networks. While many discussions of screenshots focus on links with photography, their networked character is less often addressed. This chapter takes the question “what happens to the image when the camera is replaced with the computer?”, which was the starting point for the curatorial research and exhibition project, Screenshots: Desire and Automated Image (2019), to investigate screenshots’ potency as a measure of what a network image is. Two digital and networked artworks presented in the exhibition are analysed as examples that capture networked and computational performativity of screenshots and give evidence of the apparatus of their making. The chapter argues that screenshots are units of measure that can be used to trace the infrastructural networks that make networked digital images such as screenshots. In the conclusion, screenshots are defined as images produced and reproduced as a result of human and computer interactions, and their network character, even if not visible in the image, can be accounted for.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Networked Image in Post-Digital Culture
EditorsK. Sluis, A. Dewney
Place of publicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Publication yearJul 2022
Pages171-186
Chapter9
ISBN (print)9780367550585, 9780367557560
ISBN (Electronic)9781003095019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

    Research areas

  • network image, photography, computing, algorithms, culture, value, vision, ways of seeing

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