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Aestheticized Politics, Visual Culture,and Emergent Forms of Digital Practice


The aftermath of the 2009 Iranian presidential election will be explored here from a visual perspective, with attention to its aestheticized politics. The revolution occurred online as well as in the streets, but it has been difficult to evaluate the effect of online activity on the offline world. I argue that both the notion of circulation in new media and theories of representation are insufficient to address the impact of digital culture on protest art and its effect on the public sphere. I propose a theory of practice that accounts for new forms of social practice that is based on a convergence mode of production.

In antiquity the individual and the crowd had no significance whatsoever; the man of excellence stood for them all. The trend today is in the direction of mathematical equality, so that in all classes about so and so many people make one individual and in all consistency we compute numbers. Kierkegaard “Two Ages, 1846.” (Hong & Hong,1978)

The era of crowds is still very much with us, particularly in times of political turmoil and in the developing world. But in a deeper sense [in the digital age], perhaps it has passed. (Schnapp & Tiews, 2006)

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