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Lorena Bañares\Diffracted Vision

In the Anthropos world, the eye is one of the most active equipment in our body. As an “organ” of perception, the eye is fiercely subjective and selective conforming to the institutionalized norms that has long served the capitalist agenda. Contaminated by illusions of reality, the eye failed to gaze at the flows of intensities that matter, filtering only those that conform to realist's assumptions. As a result, the eye became one of the purveyors of marginalization, and injustices resulting in categorizing the nature-culture, man/woman, subject/object divide. The age of the Anthropos!


The age of mechanical revolution ushered in visual apparatuses that served as a conduit of representational vision. The invention of the camera became an ally, an extension of the human eye that functions for the benefit of Man, and of industry, therefore subservient to hegemonic ideals. Images of commodified poverty proliferate on screen as an object of enjoyment. Photographs portraying power by enhancing human subject position soon crept across platforms. The Posthuman turn radically questioned the human-centred approach in photography and called for a dynamic approach to overcoming the dogmatic image of thought we have gotten used to. But, what happens when the eye ceases to be an organ, but pure flows of intensities, matters and becomings?


Using Deleuze and Guattari's Rhizome concept and Karen Barad’s Diffraction as my methods of experimentation, I started experimenting with the relational assemblages of the eye, camera and body in the doing of photography. Unlike the arborescent tree that is vertically structured, the rhizome is thought in motion. A thought without an image is the creation of the new, an encounter with the unthought. To create the path of the new is to disrupt binary logic allowing roots to produce multiplicities, a line of flight, a rhizomatic diffractive experimentation. A closer look at these assemblages reveals the diffractive patterns of entanglement when bodies and objects are mutually implicated. Infused with difference, the subject is decentered, imbricated within the assemblages of humans and non-humans in constant motion. This project is a departure from the conventional ways of doing photography as representations of reality. It problematizes the role of the eye as an “organ” of the body, how it is situated, and its relations with other matters and apparatuses in constituting a photograph. Thus, it looks at photography as a relational assemblage, a diffractive intra-action between humans and non-humans, always reconfigured in its infinite becomings.

Dismantling the selective perception of the eye, its organization and stratification is the goal of this project. The collusion of the camera lens, empty bodies, trees, and animals could deterritorialize the eye into a Posthuman Machinic assemblage, an eye composed of abstract machines; an eye infused with camera technology free of the codifying thought of Man.

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