The Latent Image

By Sean Cubitt.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic Free Download

How can we describe a moving image, composed of thousands of successive images, as “an” image? I want to explore the possibility that the coherence of the image is premised on latency. A latent image is one which is captured in photographic film prior to development. It is by nature invisible. Similarly invisible latent states structure lenses, aperture ratios, compositing, grading and edits. Looking at the codec wars currently breaking out in preparation for HTML5, this talk investigates the relationships between the aesthetics and political economy of the image in the 21st century.

Keywords: Codec, Latency, Vector, Contradiction, Political Economy

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.27-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 610.576KB).

Sean Cubitt

Director, Program in Media and Communications, Winchester School of Art UK/University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Sean Cubitt is Professor of Global Media and Communications at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Professorial Fellow in Media and Communications at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor of the University of Dundee. His publications include Timeshift: On Video Culture, Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture, Digital Aesthetics, Simulation and Social Theory, The Cinema Effect and EcoMedia. He is the series editor for Leonardo Books at MIT Press. His current research is on the history and philosophy of media, global media governance, and ecomedia.