‘Assessments’ 205-400 in 

Elkins, James., ed. Photography theory (New York; London: Routledge, 2007)

Vivan Sundaran Recycling Photographs


The digital tool allows the image to be recontextualized and examined in a social or psycho-analytical manner. The colonial or orientalist representation can be recoded, replayed though critiques of those positions. The digital allows the possibility to take a photograph, a snapshot from a family album, and construct a narrative of relationships, engaging with the visual information to gain a greater depth of understanding of the social and personal that what the prson who took the family pictures could foresee. You can shift to the playful, the provocative; you can lie to tell a truth. A sohisticated use of the digital works on the edge: the photograph is of a particular time and place, a real moment; you can make the viewer experience a slippage, a perceptual shift, so as to engage with its presentness.

Martin Lister Photography, Presence, and Pattern


[…] it becomes clear that the photographic economy revolves around a dialectic of presence and absence; the presence of a material signifier that stands in for an absence, the absent presence of the signified, and a desire or predicated original existance. This is a dialectic that sees matter as the foundation, the underscoring, and the outside of representation.

[See Katherine Hayles]



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