n Image & Text : a Journal for Design - The prominence of grotesque figures in visual culture today. Rethinking the ontological status of the (moving) image from the perspective of the grotesque




In this article, I argue that the new - as opposed to habitualised - optical and digital technologies as used in the cinema today have a strong perceptual impact on individuals by creating all sorts of visual distortions that cause a profound deautomatisation of perception and a destabilisation of the ontological status of the image. An uncanny disruption of the perceptual process, a destabilisation of the cognitive routines, a sudden sensitivity to the medium and an instant emotional response are at the heart of these disruptive viewing experiences. I argue that these effects are reinforced by the presence of "grotesques" and "monsters" which are so prominent in visual culture today.


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