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Operational images and the interpretive turn

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dc.contributor.advisor William Uricchio. en_US Saucier, Nathan (Nathan W.) en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US 2018-02-08T15:58:35Z 2018-02-08T15:58:35Z 2017 en_US
dc.description Thesis: S.M. in Science Writing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Comparative Media Studies/Writing, 2017. en_US
dc.description This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections. en_US
dc.description "September 2017." Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (pages 105-109). en_US
dc.description.abstract Over the past several decades, computers have allowed for the increasingly voluminous and rapid ingest of images. These images, made for machine legibility, are called "operational images," a term coined by Harun Farocki. They are made for machines, by machines; they are not made to represent an object, but are part of an operation. Yet these operational images are only the most recent chapter in a longer history of logistical and instrumental use of images. Through the history of cartography, surveillance, and reconnaissance runs a long tale of instrumentalization, a history of calculable images primed for machine-readability. Before computers allowed for a truly "operational" image that could be harvested and interpreted independently, there were many other logistical images -- only these predecessors kept humans in the operational loop. These days, so-called deep learning allows for a new development in the operational image -- not only are humans excluded, but machines are performing inscrutable assessments; they interpret images and provide conclusions while their rationales remain opaque. These images are part of an interpretive turn. This sort of image use is difficult to demystify, confront, and confound. To contemplate effective strategies, it helps to look at the broader context of subversion of the logistical image, reaching back to early instances of artistic intervention to help inform the present and future. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Nathan Saucier. en_US
dc.format.extent 109 pages en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights MIT theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed, downloaded, or printed from this source but further reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.subject Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.subject Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.title Operational images and the interpretive turn en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US S.M. in Science Writing en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Comparative Media Studies. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Graduate Program in Science Writing. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 1020252097 en_US

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