Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Flusser, Vilem. ‘Spoken Languages’ Does Writing have a Future? trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2011) 63-69 p.63 When programming has set itself free of alphanumeric writing, thought will no longer need to work through a spoken language to become visible. Thought and speech will no longer be fused, as they were […]

Belting, Hans. ‘The Transparency of the Medium’ An Anthropology of Images trans. by Thomas Dunlop (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011) 144-168 p.144 The photographic image is usually understood as either an object trouvé. a thing that the camera find in the world, or else as the product of a camera. In other words, a photograph is […]

Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin (Chichester: Wiley, 2008) p.10 All the senses, including vision, are extensions of the tactile sense; the senses are specialisations of skin tissue, and all sensory experiences are modes of touching and thus related to tactility. pp.10-11 Our contact with the world takes place at the boundary line of […]

Snyder, Joel. ‘Picturing Vision’ Poetics of Space: A Critical Photographic Anthology ed. by Steve Yates (Albequerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995) 157-171 p.158 Our willingness to accept photographs as natural and mechanical records of what we see underscores the power of our belief that certain kinds of pictures achieve significance because they are “natural” – meaning […]

Savedoff, Barbara E. ‘Transformation in Photography’ Transforming Images: How Photography Complicates the Picture (New York: Cornell University Press, 2000) 47-128 p.48 Photography’s special significance lies in its documentary quality, in the fact that the photographer does not have the painter’s freedom to create and control. But if this is true, we can only evaluate photographs […]

Berger, John. ‘Understanding a photograph’ Classic Essays on Photography ed. by Alan Trachtenberg (New Haven: Leete’s Island Books, 1980) 291-294 p.291 Certainly the vast majority of people do not consider photography an art, even whilst they practise, enjoy, use and value it. It now seems clear that photography deserves to be considered as though it were […]



p.1 Landscape is a social product; particular landscapes tell us something about cultural histories and attitudes. landscape results from human intervention to shape or transform natural phenomena, of which we are simultaneously a part. p.3 The act of naming is an act of taming. From its inception photography has been involved in investigating and detailing […]

McCauley, Anne. ‘Overexposure: Thoughts on the Triumph of Photography’, The Meaning of Photography ed. by Robin Kelsey and Blake Stimson (Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Institute, 2005) 159-162 p.159 [discusses photography’s acceptance into art institutions] p.160 Museums became infotainment for people who wanted to walk rather than sit in front of screens when escaping from their […]

Schwartz, Joan M; Ryan, James R. ‘Photography and the Geographical Imagination’ Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination ed. by Joan M. Schwartz and James R. Ryan (London: I.B.Taurus, 2003) 1-18 p.1 More than one hundred and fifty years later – despite ongoing and unresolved debates over the status of photography as a fine art and over […]

Wells, Liz. ‘Sense of Location: Topography, Journey, Memory’ (London: I.B.Taurus, 2011) 261-302 p.261 [describing Jem Southam’s ‘River Hayle January 2000’] However, naturalised, this is a landscape that has been subject to extensive human intervention – the markers are there for our information, whether we are physically present, or viewers of photographs which operate in observational […]

Elkins, James. ‘Selenite, Ice, Salt’ What Photography Is (Oxon: Routledge, 2011) 15-44   p.17 [On a photograph Elkins finds of a selenite window] Seen through the window, the world would look like ill-fitted pieces of mosaic crushed together, pressed and refracted by the translucent material into a nearly indecipherable pattern. The window’s inclusions, its grit and spalling […]



Elkins, James. ‘Writing’ What Photography Is (Oxon: Routledge, 2011) 1-14  p.5 No, what bothers me, at least at first, is that the uncomfortable intimacy of the voice, and its discomfiting affections, are supported by a certainty I cannot understand: a certainty, almost a conviction, that the author’s frame of mind is not an impediment to […]

To Abstract


Flusser, Vilém. ‘To Abstract’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) 5-10 p.5 Since human beings depend for their lives more on learned and less on genetic information than do other living things, the structure through which information is carried exerts a decisive influence on […]



Flusser, Vilém. ‘Warning’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) 3-4 p.3 Utopia means groundlessness, the absence of a point of reference. We face the immediate future directly, unequivocally, except inasmuch as we cling to those structures generated by utopia itself. That is what has […]



Batchen, Geoffrey. ‘Ectoplasm’ Each wild idea: writing, photography, history (Cambridge, Mass.; London: MIT, 2002 [essay originally published in 1994]) 128-144 p.129 This [current] sustained outburst of morbidity appears to stem from two related anxieties. The first is an effect of the widespread introduction of computer-driven imaging processes that allow “fake” photos to be passed off […]

Mayer-Schonberger, Viktor. ‘The Role of Remembering and the Importance of Forgetting’ Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009) 16-49 p.17 Contrary to popular belief that we only use a small fraction of our brain’s power, the entire network of neurons and synapses is active in healthy human beings. But […]

Mayer-Schönberger, Viktor. ‘Failing to forget the “Drunken Pirate”‘ Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (Princeton, Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2009) 1-15 p.11 What we sense is the demise of forgetting, and a fundamental shift to the default of remembering. [discussion of Panopticon, ‘a prison in which guards could watch prisoners without prisoners knowing whether […]

Langford, Martha. ‘Speaking the Album: An Application of the Oral-Photographic Framework’ Locating Memory: Photographic Acts ed. by Annette Kuhn and Kirsten Emiko McAllister (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2006) 223-246 p.223 […] attention to the photographic album since the mid-1960s can be said to constitute in itself a model ‘thought community’, an idea of album sustained by […]

Price, Mary. ‘Mask as Descriptive Concept’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 117-133 p.117 […] what Barthes and other writers have done is to bring within the range of possibility an acknowledgment on the part of the rest of us that what they have discovered and named must exist for […]



Price, Mary. ‘Metaphor’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 134-149 pp.134-135 Before photography, according to Ivins [William M, Ivins, Jr.], the syntactical analysis of a picture preceded the handmade reproduction, which became a symbolic representation of its original. references for reproduction are the woodcut, etching, or lithograph that reproduce a […]