A Shared History

In her seminal essay “In Defense of the Poor Image” Hito Steyerl sings the praises of low quality images. She discusses their (political and aesthetic) potential and lauds their reach. Although that text is now over a decade old, it is more topical than ever: visual phenomena such as memes, tiktok videos and cellphone footage have increased the reach and visibility of such “poor” imagery.


This epigraphic video essay by film student Artuur Derks revisits the moon landing. At the time, the images broadcast from the surface of the moon were state-of-the-art, even though they were of poor quality. The simple fact that man was able to broadcast anything from the moon at all inspired awe. Now, half a century later, the images seem even poorer and more imperfect. But they have not lost their impact or their reach: they still sends shivers down the viewers’ spines, they are still among the most wide seen images ever made. And in a sense, they also keep performing their initial promise: that of inspiring and uniting people around the world. Creating a shared history.