Genetically Modified Images

Genetically Modified Images / Ali Alışır 2012

Ali Alışır “Virtual Places” 2011
The structure of modern world, which is based on contradictions and differences, is now collapsing. Evil exists without good, true exists without false; female gets on without male (or vice versa), and power gets on without the opposition. The unfortunate situation of the ‘image’ that was once thought to be the real constituent of photography, is a similar case. Image no longer needs reality to form itself. Just like the case that darkness is no longer needed to create light, formation of photography does not require a real object or topic anymore.  Everything is reproduced on virtual environment, and takes the place of reality. This age has become to be an era, to which virtual images are dominant. Images are created out of nothing.
Formerly, the action of taking picture meant to witness the disappearance of subject and object in a second. Today, on the other hand, we are forced to witness recreation of an image, which does not exist, through computational processing. (I said that ‘we are forced to’ because image, due to its nature, is the mystic aura between subject and object of natural creation; and artificially creating proves that it is longer an image). As a result, the case that image of photography becomes symbol of “something” means that there is no room for an emotion that will be discovered in images and it is not possible to review the image. These reproduced digital -synthetic- images are not themselves anymore.
So, what does the disappearance of image mean? How can we situate photography, of which image is disappearing, within the reality of our lives?
First of all, it is crucial to state that what has become to direct almost our entire life and current events surrounding us is the digital media and its systems. Mobile phones, e-mails, social communication networks are inseparable entities for each of us. (These different and complex network systems can be compared to an unlimited mental system, within which the individual looses himself).  Individual in a certain space is not limited with only four walls anymore. Individuals who are following news flow and latest news from all around the world have started to live under the siege of these digital images. Individuals, who live under the effect of digital world, have started to feed from these systems.
These digital food chains work just like the functioning system of organs in our bodies. Mind follows the coming news and messages, and rapidly digests and consumes it. Digital technology, of which sequence of image is impaired (or destroyed), has such an effect on mind similar to that of rotten food, which has a ruined food chain or is genetically modified, attacking to body in due course. Formerly, while distinguishing real and fake events, there was evidence regarding the relationship between subjects and objects. They were proved by negative images; however, once circuits and integrates took their place, it became possible to create nonexistent images and news. In short, when the thing referring to reality disappeared, human brain became more vulnerable to several foreign attacks.
Manipulated news titles, which are used by written and visual media in order to attract attention; news texts and their images, of which the original news and context were separated (even fake images that war views were modified), look like mal-sequenced genes.
Those news and images (reality) that are constantly in flow, by the time, reach to exaggerated dimensions in mind and start to diminish itself in time. Today this process is so fast that perception and oblivion happen almost at the same time. The ability to comprehend is almost by-passed. It can be argued that within this process political poles, ideologies, and individual values are started to disintegrate (it is ironical, though, all those disintegrated values today continue to exist virtually).  All those ideologies, political poles, and even the idea of art that disintegrate from reality, continue to exist as reflections of the past.
Maybe today the fact that thoughts (political poles and ideologies) are really exist (revolutionary and dictatory) and claim power is not the biggest danger. The major danger is the claim of thoughts, which are disappearing in our age, to continue to exist
This is a very serious claim because democratic illusions were taken to a more dangerous position than real democracies; and cyber and virtual attacks were taken to a more dangerous position than real wars. (All those relations among finance, social and security networks strengthen this idea). Illusion was once nothing but only an illusion, today it turns into a phenomenon more dangerous than reality. This claim reminds the unfortunate situation that happened a while ago to the image constituting photography. Lost political ideas and actions dominated by a virtual and global power are transformed into threats through similar methods; just like the image, which was deprived of pure reality transformed into a weapon.
In this century, is it possible to fight against a thing that is literally disappearing? In this digital and codified life can we still trust to the belief that there is still privacy and power of will and they can actually change something? And, can photography still take us to the unlimited sphere of thoughts without its mystic aura (image)? These are still problematic.
Back to the beginning of the question; today, art; history; economics; and ideological thoughts had all lost their reasons of existence. While the fake got all power of reality it can be said that everyone became actors and audiences at the same in a show that they all know everything and do nothing at all.
Like the image that photography had lost, we are losing the spirit and mystery of what is natural. In this new century, under the influence of transparency, all our lives transform into an effect just like a digital picture.
Ali Alışır – 2012
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