post.pic – imageboards, tagging, tool images, visual studies. a primer by practitioners


Publication details

Further contributors

with contributions by Florian Cramer, Aymeric Mansoux, Julius von Bismarck, Alex Adriaansens, Timo Klok, Kim de Groot, Mark Halawa, Sandra de Haan. 


published by Piet Zwart Institute in 2010, 32 pages, PDF available on Monoskop.

Academic and non-academic discussions of visual culture are often based on the assumption that we live in a time of visual oversaturation, which in turn is typically attributed to new media. The texts in this booklet, most of which were written by media practitioners, analyse the contemporary form and function of images in the context of the most recent digital media – and arrive at often unexpected conclusions.

Our contemporary world of visual media is no longer dominated by video and TV. It is no longer the world – to quote earlier media theories – of the hyperreal, of the visual frenzy, which started with MTV in the 1980s and peaked ten years ago with the popular TV show CSI. What we encounter nowadays on the Internet, on web sites such as Flickr, on imageboards and in hacker culture, are images as objects – tagged, datamined, indexed in databases. In more general terms, this is nothing less than the reinvention of the image: as a carrier of information which is no longer purely, or predominantly, visual. This may also explain why the notion of the “pictorial turn”, as summarized in Mark Halawa’s contribution, has generated such extensive and fundamental discussions of what an image actually is.

This booklet is based on a series of short lectures given for a general audience during the International Beeldfestival/Image Festival Rotterdam 2009. With the exception of the joint presentation by Alex Adriaansens and Julius von Bismarck, the lectures were presented by the research programme Communication in a Digital Age at Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam University, which is also the publisher of this little volume.


  • Florian Cramer & Aymeric Mansoux, Tagging
  • Alex Adriaansens & Julius von Bismarck, Image Fulgurator
  • Timo Klok, 4chan and Imageboards
  • Kim de Groot, The Image as a Tool
  • Mark Halawa, Image and Visual Studies, and the concept of “pictorial turn”
  • Sandra de Haan, visual conference blog