Global Challenges and Visual Strategies of Domination


  • Tommaso Durante Tutor, Universidad der Melbourne, Australia


Palabras clave:

visual strategies of domination, global change, media aesthetics, digital capitalism


We live in an ever-increasing web-centric and highly mediatized society dominated by images. A society in which visual technologies and visuals—image-based contents—assist not only to overcome language barriers but also to shape our everyday thoughts and choices. A society that also produces a visual culture of surveillance and control. In this respect, artificial intelligence (AI) has shown once again its advance on images while algorithms categorize us and generative adversarial networks (GANs), assisted by deep machine learning and computer vision, are able to produce from scratch pictures of landscapes, objects, or people that never existed. Yet, there is a dearth of research investigating visual strategies of domination under present conditions of “digital capitalism” (global capitalism). Informed by theory and methodologically articulated this study explores how the visual metaphor and figure of speech of the religious Babel tower of Genesis - depicting confusion – can be transposed into the secular metaphor of the Internet currently transformed into a space of capitalistic accumulation and of surveillance and control. This paper argues that visual strategies of domination rely on the very act of producing, harvesting, and analyzing data. It concludes by arguing that, beyond the academic debate on the struggle over the love and hate of images, visual strategies of domination affect the way in which we perceive and understand the world and, at a deeply subjective level, people’s social imaginaries and ideologies. For these reasons, we need to better understand and explain the epistemological power of images and visual technologies, as well as their strategies of domination.