Donna Haraway’s treatment of ‘Vision’ in her 1988 Situated Knowledge text is extremely helpful for my work, as it explores Vision in a political and epistemological context, giving a switched on academic framing to my use of (audo)visual research techniques. Haraway uses Vision as a metaphor to unpack ways of seeing, knowing and positioning.
She criticises the all-seeing Eye of the God-trick (the conquering gaze from nowhere that represents and marks bodies, while itself remaining unrepresented and unseen).
She advocates for embodied situated Vision that recognises and deconstructs it’s own positionality, specificity, difference, technologies and prosthetics for seeing; in the process making itself accountable, responsible, answerable.
She problematises ‘Seeing from Below’ and the vantage points of the subjugated:
Many versions of collective intelligence are active around us. From the social media Hive Mind, to wikipedia’s Wisdom of the Crowd, to the ant colonies under our feet, to Extinction Rebellion’s swarming tactics, to talk of citizen assemblies solving Brexit or even climate change. To name but a few. My PhD aims to organise different conceptualisations and manifestations of collective intelligence into written and visual meta-analysis. In the wider video work, I am also working with audio-visual analysis and am currently exploring “The Sound of the Hive”. In other words, exploring an understanding of collective intelligence and the hive, through sound and patterns of sounds.
Video of night-time vigils in Mexico City following the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students in the hands of the police (7th November 2014). Video from @FrictionFilmsduring the pilot study of the Collective Intelligence PhD.