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Scenes of Projection: Recasting the Enlightenment Subject

Fellow: 
IRH Fellowship and Year: 
2006-2007 Resident Fellow
Publisher: 
University of Minnesota Press, 2015
Synopsis: 

Theorizing vision and power at the intersections of the histories of psychoanalysis, media, scientific method, and colonization, Scenes of Projection poaches the prized instruments at the heart of the so-called scientific revolution: the projecting telescope, camera obscura, magic lantern, solar microscope, and prism. From the beginnings of what is retrospectively enshrined as the origins of the Enlightenment and in the wake of colonization, the scene of projection has functioned as a contraption for creating a fantasy subject of discarnate vision for the exercise of “reason.”

Jill H. Casid demonstrates across a range of sites that the scene of projection is neither a static diagram of power nor a fixed architecture but rather a pedagogical setup that operates as an influencing machine of persistent training. Thinking with queer and feminist art projects that take up old devices for casting an image to reorient this apparatus of power that produces its subject, Scenes of Projection offers a set of theses on the possibilities for felt embodiment out of the damaged and difficult pasts that haunt our present.