Mishka Henner: a “Post-Photography” Photographer

Mishka Henner, Coronado Feeders, Dalhart, Texas, 2012

For almost two years I have been working on my Master’s degree in Art History at Carleton University. My major research project–“Mishka Henner’s Feedlots: New Perspectives on the Contemporary Ecocritical Landscape”– is handed in, so I am just awaiting the virtual walk across the stage.

In my paper I question why industrial animal agriculture is not a more prominant subject in contemporary art and art historical discourse, and particularly, in art exhibitions on the Anthropocene, eco art and ecocriticism.

Henner’s series, Feedlots (2012-13), comprises seven high-resolution digital images of Texas feedlots made by stitching together hundreds of high-resolution screenshots from Google Earth. (See Henner’s website.) This series has received significant attention in exhibitions and in various publications, likely more on account of Henner’s innovative “post-photography” practices than its subject matter.

The term “post-photography” has been used since the late twentieth century in conjunction with the transformation from analogue to digital media; more recently it has come to mean the integration of the image, technology and the Internet. Camila Moreiras explains that the “age of post-photography can be understood as the age of the inorganic image: a composite of littered information – collected, ordered, layered, buried, stored and discarded.” (1) In contemporary photographic practice, images may be built, fabricated, altered, and/or systematically edited with or without the camera. Henner has rejected the camera, using his computer and the Internet for image-making, which he feels is better suited for the age in which we live. (2)

I look forward to sharing parts of my paper and other musings.

References:

(1) Camila Moreiras, “Joan Fontcuberta: Post-Photography and the Spectral Image of Saturation,” Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies 18:1 (2017): 57 and FN3, 72.

(2) Mishka Henner, “Counter-Intelligence,” (Video Lecture).