Hangin’ on the Telephone
Images, we learned from structuralism, are codified, wired and skeined with a fabric of arbitrarily grafted meanings, inflections and contracts. What if the semiotic DNA of an image could be recoded, interfered with, to irresistibly alter that contract, to supplant the arbitrary with the fixity of “the only possible meaning”? In this paper we propose that juxtaposition of text and image can narrow the morphology of what and how an image means. We will discuss this process of semiotic rewiring in terms of an ongoing remix project, The Secret Gestural Prehistory of Mobile Devices (http://www.secretprehistory.net/). In critical remix, the found object is not enough. The juxtaposition of text and image is a kind of Virilio-like logic bomb that, when detonated, interferes with the mind as much as the image.