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In Biopolitical Screens, Pasi Väliaho charts and conceptualizes the imagery that composes our affective and conceptual reality under twenty-first-century capitalism. Väliaho investigates the role screen media play in the networks that today harness human minds and bodies—the ways that images animated on console game platforms, virtual reality technologies, and computer screens capture human potential by plugging it into arrangements of finance, war, and the consumption of entertainment. Drawing on current neuroscience and political and economic thought, Väliaho argues that these images work to shape the atomistic individuals who populate the neoliberal world of accumulation and war.
Väliaho bases his argument on a broad notion of the image as something both visible and sayable, detectable in various screen platforms but also in scientific perception and theoretical ideas. After laying out the conceptual foundations of the book, Väliaho offers focused and detailed investigations of the current visual economy. He considers the imagery of first-person shooter video games as tools of “neuropower”; explores the design and construction of virtual reality technologies to treat post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan; and examines three instances of video installation art that have the power to disrupt the dominant regime of sensibility rather than reinforce it.
About the Author
Pasi Väliaho is Senior Lecturer in Film and Screen Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Mapping the Moving Image: Gesture, Thought, and Cinema circa 1900.
—Laura U. Marks, School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University; author of The Skin of the Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses; Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media; and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art
—Patricia Pisters, Professor of Film and Media Studies, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam; author of The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy of Digital Screen Culture
—W. J. T. Mitchell, author of Seeing Through Race