Beyond Resolution (2020)

Published on the occaision of my solo show at SJSU art galleries (3th of March - May 15th 2020): Shadow Knowledge also comprises work of 2 earlier solo shows (institutions of Resolution Disputes, 2015, and Behind White Shadows, 2017). Beyond Resolution is downloadable as pdf here
Menkman, Rosa. Beyond Resolution (i.R.D.: 2020).
ISBN: 978-90-828273-0-9


In Beyond Resolution, Menkman insists on an extended formulation of resolution. A resolution is not just a trade-off between settings that manage speed and functionality, while considering materials affordances. A resolution also always involves the inherent compromise of other ways of rendering. And it is through these other ways - not (yet) implemented or supported resolutions - that we need to train to see, run and formulate our alternatives.

Through the example of the genealogy of the color test cards, Menkman offers an exemplary way to make such latent and biased power structures more apparent. Menkman proposes that these standard images, trapped in the genealogies of our technologies, should become part of the public domain. These narratives could then be used to illustrate and illuminate the biases and governing powers structures that are inherent and pervasive in our contemporary technologies, something she calls “the white shadows that govern the outcomes of our image processing technologies”.

She argues that their genealogies belong in high school textbooks: “the latent violence coded within such norms should be studied as part of standard curricula to inform a future generation of engineers of compromises made in the past”.


This independently published book consists of a collection of different types of texts ranging from short stories, to an introduction into basic optics, and a manifesto like text. The publication is accompanied by a collection of artworks that Menkman developed during a triptych of solo shows (institution of Resolution Disputes, Behind White Shadows and Shadow Knowledge), all geared towards introducing and developing the concept: "Resolution Studies".