Opacity Effects: The Performance and Documentation of Terrorist Embodiment
The chapter analyzes the visual documentation and performance of terrorist embodiment by US state and commercial media for an audience of US consumers. Journalists and government and military officials use computer-generated imagery to reframe photography as the medium best suited to the work of documenting the opacity of enemies in the war on terror. Public relations materials pertaining to the war on terror and major media corporations’ coverage of the war position US media consumers as the privileged visual subjects of the war on terror. Virtual tourism of the war relies on the frozen stillness of the US’s enemies, captured within prisons and again within the frames of photography. Media consumers consent to the war by silently ignoring and/or virtually touring the clear-coated versions of the extralegal institutions established in the name of prosecuting the war on terror and visually consuming the war as game or intrigue.