Susan Schuppli- Media as Conflict Zones

Susan Schuppli (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
As the frontlines increasingly move into the covert spaces of computation and digital abstr
action, well beyond the thresholds of human perception and their attendant regimes of publicity, we can no longer rely upon traditional forms of journalism to provide critical vantage points into conditions of conflict.
Screen space has multiplied and refracted the “frames of war” into a complex field of sensors, software, and servers that track their targets—combatants, capital, and consumers—across the electromagnetic spectrum. Investigating digitized and automated forms of contemporary violence requires a conceptual realignment in which we learn to attend to the specificity of struggles that are also working themselves out at the level of processing: from translations between file formats, signal latency,
compression artefacts, and data remanence to disclosures of metadata. While camer
as and media have long ventured into conflict zones, exposing injustice and documenting violations, the expansion of these zones into powerful computational arrangements must bring about new decoding practices if we are to intervene politically in the electronic fields of weaponized data, where algorithms execute and pixels cover up a crime.
Susan Schuppli is an artist and researcher based in the UK, whose work examines
material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters.
Current work explores the ways in which toxic ecologies from nuclear accidents and oil spills to the dark snow of the arctic are producing an “extreme image” archive of material wrongs. Creative projects have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia,Canada, and the US. Recent projects include Trace Evidence, a video trilogy commissioned by Arts Catalyst UK & Bildmuseet, Sweden and Atmospheric Feedback Loops, a Vertical Cinema commission for Sonic Acts, Amsterdam. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the forthcoming book, Material Witness (MIT Press). Schuppli is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and was previously Senior Research Fellow on the Forensic Architecture project. In 2016 she received the ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Researc