Tina Campt


The Visual Frequency of Black Life

The Visual Frequency of Black Life explores a series of cinematic, choreographic, and documentary artworks that depict black visuality as flow—a term used to capture the innovative ways Black artists are creating new practices of witnessing contemporary assaults on blackness. It considers the kinds of care required to maintain black sociality despite ongoing threats of violence, expropriation, and exploitation by engaging the affective registers of black visuality that converge in a genre of imagery I describe as still-moving-images. Focusing on the work of an ambitious group of black contemporary artists, the book engages their unorthodox curation of the visual archive of contemporary and historical images of black life, their animation of these images in ways that trouble the relationship between stillness, movement and motion, and their provocative performances of the precarity of black life in the twenty-first century.

Tina Campt is the Claire Tow and Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Africana and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and former director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women at Barnard College-Columbia University. She is a black feminist theorist whose work explores gendered, racial, and diasporic formation in black communities in Europe, the United States, and Southern Africa through the oral, sonic, and visual cultural texts produced by these communities. She is the author of three books: Other Germans: Black Germans and the Politics of Race, Gender and Memory in the Third Reich, Image Matters: Archive, Photography and the African Diaspora in Europe, and Listening to Images.

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