Co-Illusion: Dispatches from the End of Communication - book review

"At this point I would like to reflect on a foundational principle of visual studies: what do images prove nowadays? There are deepfake technologies to falsify videos through changing the identity of the speaker, CGI and Photoshop is widely used in the media industry, while even documentary photographs can be staged and digitally edited. Countless people falsify, or deny, or just ignore evidence. U.S. presidents have started wars on fabricated evidence (for example the Tonkin incident leading to the Vietnam war, or the alleged mass destruction weapons of Saddam). There have been instances beyond the Trump-camp where people falsified their whole public image (Rachel Dolezal, Jessica Krug). Creating and then externalizing subjectivities through mediated images is a global phenomenon, contingent on the collapse- and remapping of institutional-private and political-private boundaries. Is there anything particular, special, revelatory about Trump saying that a video recording of him does not represent him? Trump thinks the press lies and they are out to get him – the press can indeed lie, and the press coverage of any USA president is often biased. Many would think so, not only Trump himself, or his voters."

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