Archiving a Disappearing Planet: On the Finitude of Images and Worlds
Dr Tiago de Luca
Dr Tiago de Luca, Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Television, University of Warwick.
In this talk I want to explore the promises and uses of the indexical image in recording and archiving the planet. My focus will be on two media projects: Albert Kahn’s Les Archives de la Planète (Archives of the Planet, 1909-1931) and Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures (2013). While separated by more than a century and vastly different in themselves, these world-archiving, futurocentric projects nonetheless reveal remarkable similarities in their preservationist valorisation of the indexical image as a way to sidestep the irreversibility of terrestrial time. But these projects are also illuminating when placed next to each other in revealing the different planetary ontologies at their bases, for whereas the former anticipates an altered planet, the latter envisages a time when the Earth is no more. In so doing, these projects invite reflections on questions relating to the meaning, finitude and archivability of images in both present and future times, terrestrial and cosmic worlds.
If you have any queries about the event, please contact habitability at warwick dot ac dot uk