The Lives of Images, Vol. 2: Analogy, Attunement, and Attention

By Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa. Interviewee Lucas Blalock and Frida Orupabo.


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The Lives of Images, edited by Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, is a set of contemporary thematic readers designed for educators, students, practicing photographers, and others interested in the ways images function within a wider set of cultural practices. The series tracks the many movements and “lives” of images—their tendency to accumulate, circulate, and transform through different geographies, cultures, processes, institutions, states, uses, and times. 


Volume 2 in this series, Analogy, Attunement, and Attention, addresses the complex relationships that the reproducible image creates with its viewers, their bodies, their minds, and their sense of the physical and metaphysical world. The selection addresses the image’s role in the social constitution of individual and collective identity, in social practices of resistance to the structural violences of racism, or in relation to state exercises of power. Of particular importance in this volume are questions of our changing relationship to space and to selfhood as mediated by the image and by the many networked technologies and norms built around it. Essays in the volume ask: what modes of attention are required of us as viewers and agents of image circulation? The question of how image technologies provide us with an array of freedoms is here combined with and read against the many ways images are deployed to reorient, repress, or reduce our field of vision—thus affecting our capacity to see and to act in social space.


Contributions by Victor Burgin, Judith Butler, Tina Campt, Sarah Jane Cervenak, Harun Farocki, Tom Holert, Thomas Keenan, Rabih Mroué, Vivian Sobchack, and Tiziana Terranova


Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 328
Publication date: 2021-11-30
Measurements: 4.75 x 7 x 0.71 inches
ISBN: 9781597115070

By Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa. Interviewee Lucas Blalock and Frida Orupabo.

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa is a photographer, writer, and graduate director of the photography MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence. He is the author of a book of selected essays, Dark Mirrors (2021); and his most recent photographic publication, Hiding in Plain Sight (coauthored with fellow artist Ben Alper), was published by the Harun Farocki Institute in summer 2020. His work was recently exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York, and in the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Mannheim, Germany. He has contributed essays to catalogues and monographs by Rosalind Fox Solomon, George Georgiou, Paul Graham, Steve McQueen, and Vanessa Winship. Wolukau-Wanambwa has guest edited The Photobook Review and written for ApertureFOAM, and for both the Barbican and the Photographers’ Gallery, London. He was an artist-in-residence at Light Work, Syracuse, New York, in 2015.

Lucas Blalock is an artist and occasional writer. He has held recent solo exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Museum Kurhaus, Kleve, Germany. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Henie Onstad Art Center, Oslo; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Malmö Konsthall, Sweden. Blalock also makes books, including three published in 2021: an artist book titled FiguresOar Or Ore, an expansive survey of the artist’s work since 2013 through the lens of recent exhibitions; and a volume of writing titled Nightbook for Blau.

Frida Orupabo is a sociologist and artist based in Oslo. Her work consists of digital and physical collages in various forms, which explore questions related to race, family relations, gender, sexuality, violence, and identity. In 2020 and 2021, she held solo exhibitions at Museu Afro Brasil, São Paulo; Hasselblad Foundation, Gothenburg, Sweden; Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway; Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg; and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, Rome. Orupabo participated in the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) and the 34th Bienal de São Paulo (2021). Other notable group exhibitions include Witness: Afro Perspectives from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection, El Espacio 23, Miami (2020); Infinite Identities: Photography in the Age of Sharing, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam (2020); and Arthur Jafa’s multicity traveling exhibition A Series of Utterly Improbable, Yet Extraordinary Renditions (2017–19).

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