There is only one image: A research inquiry into the visual representation of cyber

While the importance of new technologies in warfare has grown, the images used to represent them have remained static. During my time working at security think tanks I was often searching for images to represent these topics and found online image searches of ‘cyber attacks’ or ‘cyber warfare’ pulled up image upon image that all look the same: either men in hoodies at computers, padlocks or lines of 1’s and 0’s. To date, little attention has been given to the ways new technology is visualised and therefore image makers have little research to go on when they are considering making images on these topics. Similarly, journalists, campaigners, academics and policymakers have little evidence on which to base decisions they are having to make on a daily basis when selecting images.

Through a series of interviews with subject matter experts from Europe, the US, and Russia, and using discourse analysis techniques to analyse them, this project seeks to understand better how cyber images are interpreted in order to provide a first step towards helping communicators better represent these topics visually.

Please contact me for the full report.