[an exerpt from a much longer thingamajig]
An image is not an image of. Or, rather, it is also an image of.
An image, like a word, is a way of going, of taking up the world — a face, a sunset, light, sadness, love, ambivalence, things — and assembling them just so. Like a word, an image selects, inflects, arranges, and prioritizes. This is not to say that an image is not intimately enmeshed with the thing in the picture. Of course it is. A picture of me is a picture of me. But it is not solely a picture of me. It is another me, another thing in the world, another way of going. The image of me is simultaneously a reading of me and its own thing.
An image is not a re-presentation. It is a repetition. An image of me is me again and anew. Neither the image of me nor this me is the real one. Or, rather, we are both real but in different ways. Obviously, an image of me is not covered under the same legal jurisdiction that I am: tear the picture of me in two and you will not be arrested for assault (but you may for damage to property). An image circulates in its own network of economies — legal, financial, interpretive. This network intersects the network that is me. Together, we inflect each other more or less depending on the node within the network, the junctures of the diverse economies.
In any case, I am suggesting than an image is not a derivation or a supplement of the real. In the logic of repetition, there is no original, no master term: we are always already supplemental. Or, to put it more affirmatively, everything is a point of origin, everything is the center of its world — just as it is a periphery in another word. All the terms are repetitions that inflect each other. Isn’t this the way of fame — that the relentless image making of a person changes that person?
An image, like any thing, is a multiplicity, a more or less elaborate network of affects, effects, speeds, intensities. It is a metabolic engine. A camera doesn’t as much capture the world as it does digest it and reassemble it. An image maker, then, does not make a picture of the world. He proliferates the world, making more and more of it.