This book engages video art and activist practices to understand how they confront and modulate the effects of image technologies on contemporary life. By means of the concept of the “performative image,” I present a new regime of the image with the qualities of operation. I define the performative dimension of video technology as its capacity to act as an agent of reality. This introduction presents a methodology founded in performance studies and the philosophy of technology to show how video technologies are shaping psychic and social life due to the various operations they perform on cultural practices and historical realities.


A nootechnics of the digital takes the temporal gap created by the drastic acceleration of technological advancement seriously. It addresses the cultural delay that prevents us from developing meaningful relations to digital tools on a larger scale. Indeed, cultural practices fostered by our relation to tech- nical objects are the operating forces that structure our relation to temporal- ity. Being out of pace with the digital means being in a temporality that is no longer in sync with the technicity that fundamentally shapes processes of individuation today. Located at the heart of our technical modernity, processes of individuation take place in a drastically changing environment in which the digital now plays a fundamental role in shaping the relation between minds, bodies, and technics.

Artwork, essays and artist statements by:

Saudade Toxosi, Harry Wilson Kapatika, Cow Mash, Abdul Dube, Simangaliso Sibiya, Sylvester Mqeku, Manyaku Mashilo & Tammy Langtry, Tia Simone Garner, Talya Lubinsky, Innocent Ekejiuba, Jean Frémiot, Twin Mawela Mosia, Atang Tshikare, Re-Curators, Ibrahima Thiam, Phoka Nyokong, Thero Makepe, Chris Soal, Jaqueline Couti, Thebe Phetogo, Lungile Zaphi, Raquel Shefer, Zuko Sikhafungana, Sandrine Honliasso, Martha Kazungu, Thandi Sebe, Sylvia Valisa, Yanyem Annabelle, Iona Gilbert, Elspeth Mitchell & Lenka Vráblíková, Cole Pulice, Sibongile Khumalo, Cynthia Phibel, Davide Rodriguez, Dito Yuwono, Clinton Osbourne, Fabrice Bourlez, Gala Berger, Antoine Sigure, Anaïs Nony & Phokeng Tshepo Setai