Doel M A, Clarke D B, 2007, "Afterimages" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 25(5) 890 – 910
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Marcus A Doel, David B Clarke
Received 24 March 2006; in revised form 27 July 2006
Abstract. In this paper we argue that montage is at the heart of contemporary human geography. We demonstrate the centrality of montage in a wide variety of domains, including the analysis of modernity, the critique of political economy, and the practice of spatial science, before drawing out the implications of this centrality in the wake of so-called ‘nonrepresentational’ theory. While nonrepresentational styles of thought ordinarily veer off into considerations of performance, practice, and enactment, the ontological and epistemological play of montage plunges theoretical practice into what Agamben, Baudrillard, and Benjamin call ‘imagelessness’, ‘obscenity’, and the ‘optical unconscious’. Each of these is addressed in turn, and each is illustrated with stills taken from the films of Jim Jarmusch. The overall aim of the paper is to sensitize human geographers to the duplicitous operation of the discipline’s cinematic optical unconscious, and in so doing to open up a space for a more considered engagement with geography’s much-vaunted visuality.
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