Simondon’s Concept of the Image: At the Junction of the Technological and the Animal

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  • Simondon’s Concept of the Image: At the Junction of the Technological and the Animal

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Abstract:

  • Abstract (long paper)

    This paper presents an approach to the concept of the image articulated through non-hierarchical modes of being which include the human and the non-human, the technical and the biological, the animate and the inanimate. This approach to the image elaborates on the ideas of French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989) who conceives it through an understanding of technical culture that sees no dichotomy between nature and culture and dissolves the rift between the human and the technological, the animal and the machinic. For Simondon, technologies are assemblages between instruments and machines, machines and humans, animals and milieus, invention and experience which produce new hybrid modes of thought, of being, of communicating—of existence which composes through expanded, hybrid beings. These hybrid beings sustain, unite and bring together the actual and the virtual, the human and the non-human, the animate and nonanimate as individuations, as machinic assemblages within a multi-phased imagistic process. Like Bergson, Simondon’s ideation of the image is non-pictorial, non-visual and steers away from an anthropocentric static conception, so that we can come to express the image as a process of individuation arising at the intersection of the animal and the technological.

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