The Fourth Eye

Between the Eyes

Strauss, D. L. and J. Berger (2003). Between the eyes: essays on photography and politics. New York, Aperture.

Increasingly, those who control technology control information, and those who control information, manage consent


  • In information vertigo, with the alternating contradictory statements, the reader is kept off balance and more vulnerable to the ideological impact of the material
  • The genius of contemporary post-modern propaganda lies in its ability to appropriate the signs of individual choice with a view to limiting that choice to such a narrow spectrum as to render choice meaningless
  • The crisis of belief we are experiencing is much larger than a simple mistrust. It involves the wholesale active relinquishing of our public right to know. Belief itself becomes part of the collateral damage.
  • Shock photos don’t compel us into action but to acceptance, they operate in the greater image environment of consumption to offset images of contentment to provide the necessary contrast.
  • We live in a time where information in the form of words, images, is being transmitted in vast quantities and at increasingly high speeds, and this mass and velocity determines its effects. Human beings cannot act on information transmitted in this way, but can only attempt to retrieve, sort, process
  • We are all becoming global village idiots, energy is spread so thin, over so many channels that there Is not enough current left in any of them to amount to anything extraordinary
  • The truth is that the information age is the age of forgetting. We are receiving less and less real information on which we can act and losing or forgetting vast quantities of information. At an ever increasing rate. So why are we pursuing this information-poor direction so enthusiastically? Setting aside the motivation of greed, it appears that we are involved in a kind of cultural discharge. Can it be that we are letting off steam, releasing energy and emptying out cultural memory banks in preparation a for some future epochal shift?
  • The question is not longer should there be a global mass market consumer culture, but should there be anything ELSE?
  • With all the hype about interconnectivity, are we really more connected than before? What is the nature of that connection? Is the Internet the first and only transparent medium, or does its form determine its content? Is art a subcategory of mass-market consumer culture, or something different form it? What is the difference between commercial messages and art? Does motivation affect the message essentially? Can you hear me?
  • Paul Virilio – Politics of the Very Worst – after Auschwitz and Hiroshima – “it would be unforgivable to allow ourselves to be deceived by the kind of utopia which insinuates that technology will ultimately bring about happiness and a greater sense of humanity…the new technologies, as well as the media in the broadest sense, are like the German occupation. My work is that of a resister because there are too many collaborators who are once again pulling the trick of redemptive progress, emancipation, man liberated from all repression etc.
  • The TV/Internet replaces solidarity with solitude
  • The fraud of transparency, claiming that the Internet is the neutral instrument of public opinion, when the field of choices are binary, yes no, on off, reflexes, the apparatus and the people who control it, gain tremendous power of respondents
  • Bill Joy, Wired, April 2000, Why the Future Doesn’t Need US: Cyburbia – tech progress without social progress might not lead to a human utopia but an inhuman one.
  • “Software is a tool, and as a tool building, I must struggle with the uses to which the tools I make are put. I have always believed that making software more reliable given its many uses, will make the world a safer and better place,. If I were to come to believe the opposite then I would be morally obligated to stop this work. I can now imagine such a day may come.
  • Jonathan Crary – Art Forum – 1994 – Part of what is needed is to conceptualise technological culture in terms of the larger turbulent geographies and flows in which it is embedded and to realize that the actual and potential violence of global polarization will have more of an impact on the future of our material life world than anything we assume to be internal to a process of technological change.


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