Archive for the ‘Studium/Punctum’ Category

Kember, Sarah J. ‘The Virtual Life of Photography’, Photographies, 1:2, 2008, pp.175 – 203 After more than 150 years, we still do not know what photography is. The reason for this, I suggest, is indeed due to the deployment of a restricted range of disciplinary and conceptual frameworks – but only in part. Memory constitutes […]

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 […]

Smith, Shawn Michelle. ‘Race and Reproduction in Camera Lucida’ Photography:Theoretical Snapshots ed. by Long, J.J., Nobel, Andrea, and Welch, Edward (Oxon: Routledge, 2009) pp.98-111 p.98 A close reading of [Camera Lucida] discovers that many of Barthes’s most important and influential insights are informed by complicated, and sometimes vexing, personal-political inclinations. Indeed, Barthes’s very conception of photography is […]

p.3 Barthes ‘wanted to learn at all costs what Photography was “in itself,” by what essential feature it was to be distinguished from the community of images. p.4 What the Photograph reproduces to infinity has occurred only once: the Photograph mechanically repeats what could never be repeated existentially. p.5 The Photograph is never anything but […]

Batchen, Geoffrey. ‘Camera Lucida: Another little history of photography’ Photography Degree Zero ed. by Geoffrey Batchen (Cambridge, MA; London: MIT, 2007) 259-273 p.260 [Batchen proposes] that Camera Lucida is best read not as a book of critical theory but as a history of photography. p.261 [describing the lack of illustration of the winter garden photo] […]

The Art Seminar


  p.158 MI: Anyway why do only photographs have puncta? Doesn’t it have something to do with involuntariness – what Benjamin called the optical unconscious? The punctum is closely related to the found object, something found as if by chance. The as if is important because it is finally the desire or lack in the […]

Benjamin, Walter., ‘A Short History of Photography’ One-Way Street (London: Verso, 1979; 1997) 240–257 p.243 Immerse yourself in such a picture long enough and you will recognise how alive the contradictions are, here too: the most precise technology can give its productsa magical value, such as a painted picture can never again have for us. […]

Regis Durand, pp.141-151 in Petro, Patrice. ed., Fugitive images, from photography to video (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996) p.142 [On photographs and film stills] How can the same image (or same type of image) carry values so radically opposed: viscosity, suture, globality for the one; tremor, inchoation, fragmentation for the other. There have to be, […]

Olin, Margaret., ‘Touching Photographs: Roland Barthes’s “Mistaken” Identification’ in Photography Degree Zero: Reflections on Roland Barthes’s Camera Lucida ed. by Geoffrey Batchen (London: MIT, 2009) 75-89 p.75 A photograph enjoys an unusually close relationship to its referent, acording to a widespread theory about the nature of photography. As this theory would have it, the key […]

Batchen, Geoffrey., ‘’fearful ghost of former bloom’: What Photography Is’ Where is the Photograph ed. by David Green (Brighton, Kent: Photoforum, Photoworks, 2003) 15-29 [Batchen discovers a large 19th century photo-object combining hair, waxen flowers, wreath, words and a photograph] p.19 Memory is here given a physical manifestation. Or perhaps it would be more accurate […]

Hirsch, Marianne., Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory (London: Harvard University Press, 1997) p.2 Barthes cannot show us the photograph because we stand outside the familial network of looks and thus cannot see the picture in the way that Barthes must. To us it would be just another generic family photograph. The picture of his […]

“Photographic Anamnesia: The Past in the Present” Mette Sandbye in Symbolic Imprints: Essays on Photography and Visual Culture, edited by Lars Kiel Bertelson, Rune Gade, and Mette Sandbye, Aaphus University, Oxford, 1999. p.181 [Sandbye disagrees with Sontag’s view that ‘To possess the world in the form of images is, precisely,  to re-experience the unreality and remoteness […]