Common Image

Towards a Larger Than Human Communism

Western humanism has established a reifying and predatory relation to the world. While its collateral visual regime, the perspectival image, is still saturating our screens, this relation has reached a dead end. Rather than desperately turning towards transhumanism and geoengineering, we need to readjust our position within community Earth. Facing this predicament, Ingrid Hoelzl and Rémi Marie develop the notion of the common image – understood as a multisensory perception across species; and common ethics – a comportment that transcends species-bound ways of living. Highlighting the notion of the common as opposed to the immune, the authors ultimately advocate otherness as a common ground for a larger than human communism.

»Although in recent reinterpretations of communism the emphasis has shifted to the notion of the common, very little work has been done on the possibility of extending communism to other-than-human modes of existence. In Common Image, Ingrid Hoelzl and Rémi Marie tackle this challenge with admirable thoroughness and theoretical breadth, while keeping an eye on the mediations ─ above all, images, which are not reducible to visuality ─ that render a larger than human communism possible.« (Michael Marder, author of Green Mass, 2021, Dump Philosophy, 2020, and Plant-Thinking, 2013

»Through a multilingual, transtemporal process of ›looking back, looking elsewhere‹, Common Image collects from many cultures and historical moments the materials for creating a more just and more communal future. Its argument is deeply sensical: for the West to stop extracting and exploiting at the expense of untold others, past and present, widened perspectives built upon careful attending, respect for human and nonhuman agency, and a rediscovery of magic, myth and story will be required. A timely and important book.« (Jeffrey J Cohen, author of Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman, 2015 and co-author of Earth - Object Lessons, 2017)

»The perspectival image, a powerful technology of humanist rationalism, which became invisible in its normalcy, is now disintegrating. The composed by the two authors together maps the possibility of an image that comes afterwards ─ the postimage ─ to reshape thinking away from the ancestry that has shaped thinking in the first place. Forceful and broad in scope, the book proposes the postimage through myths, magic, poetry, aesthesis, but also postcolonialism, community, ecology, multispecies, and many other dimensions. Can a postimage exist as a common relation? The book creates a concept and a figure ─ of a new, common image, as an ethical and aesthetic way of living.« (Olga Goriunova, author of »Fermentation« for More Posthuman Glossary, 2022 and - with Matthew Fuller - of Bleak Joys: Aesthetics of Ecology and Impossibility, 2019)

€26.99 *

9 December 2021, 156 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8394-5939-3
File size: 7.52 MB

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Ingrid Hoelzl

Ingrid Hoelzl, independent scholar

Rémi Marie

Rémi Marie, independent writer

Book title
Common Image Towards a Larger Than Human Communism
transcript Verlag
10 SW-Abbildungen
Commodity Group
ART009000 SOC052000 ART015000
Release date
9 December 2021
Bild, Natur, Kunst
Image Studies, Aesthetics, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Environmental Humanities, Contemporary Art, Anthropology, Decolonial Studies, Indigenous Studies
Image Theory, Environmental Theory, Counter-Anthropology, Feminist Materialism, Ecofeminism, Image, Art, Nature, Visual Studies, Art History, Theory of Art, Ecology, Fine Arts

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