Archive for the ‘Writing/Literature & Photography’ Category

Sekula, Allan. ‘On the Invention of Photographic Meaning’ Thinking Photography ed. by Victor Burgin (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1982) 84-109 p.84 The meaning of a photograph, like that of any other entity, in inevitably subject to cultural definition. The task here is to define and engage critically something we might call the ‘photographic discourse’. A discourse is defined […]


To Interact

06Mar13

Flusser, Vilém. ‘To Interact’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) pp.51-60 p.51 Technical images are not mirrors but projectors. They draw up plans on deceptive surfaces, and these plans are meant to become life plans for their recipients. No longer people but rather technical images lie […]


McInnes, Marnie. ‘A Meditation on Poetry and Photography’ Photographies, 5:1 (March 2012) 19-32 p.19 In 26 lines describing a fairly ordinary landscape, Atwood encapsulates key paradoxes of photography as a medium; indeed, one way of reading her poem is as a compact essay on the ontology of the photographic image. As a poem, however it […]


Lyric poem by Margaret Atwood It was taken some time ago. At first it seems to be a smeared print: blurred lines and grey flecks blended with the paper; then, as you scan it, you see in the left-hand corner a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree (balsam or spruce) emerging […]


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 […]


Lomax, Yve. ‘Future Politics/The Line in the Middle’ Writing the Image (London: I.B.Tauris, 2000) 39-53 p.39 I, like many others, have searched for a point of certainty. yes, I hoped to find it and I was innocent or arrogant enough to think that I could find it, but I could never have found it. But still I […]


Judgement Day

10Jan13

Agamben, Giorgio. ‘Judgement Day’ Profanations translated by Jeff Fort (New York: Zone Books, 2010) 23-27 p.23 What quality fascinates and entrances me in the photographs I love? I believe it is this: for me, photography in some way captures the Last Judgement; it represents the world as it appears on the last day. the Day […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Codified World’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 35-41 [originally published in 1978] p.35 If we compare our situation with the one that existed before the Second World War, we are impressed by the relative colorlessness of the time before the war. Our environment is filled with color, which, day […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Photography and History’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 126-131 [originally published in 1989] p.126 We should differentiate between prehistoric, historical, and posthistorical images, and we should consider the photograph to be the first posthistorical image. Prehistoric images are those that were produced before the invention of linear writing. Historical images […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Line and Surface’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 21-34 [originally published in 1973] p.21 Surfaces are becoming ever more important in our surroundings. For instance, TV screens, posters, the pages of illustrated magazines. Photographs, paintings, carpets, vitreaux, cave paintings surrounded men in the past, but these surfaces did not offer themselves […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Future of Writing’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 63-69 [originally written, 1983-4] p.63 Writing is an important gesture, because it both articulates and produces that state of mind which is called “historical consciousness.” History began with the invention of writing,not for the banal reason often advanced that written texts […]


Batchen, Geoffrey. ‘Photogrammatology: Writing/Photography’ Art Document, Winter (1994), 3-6 p.3 By projecting photography as a system of representation, each individual photograph becomes an historical, and therefore mutable, artefact of meaning. This view of photography directly opposes  the one propagated since the late 1960’s by formalist scholars, such as John Szarkowski. This Kantian historiography therefore entails a continual search for “concepts […]


Dahlgren, Anna. ‘Dated Photographs: The Personal Photo Album as Visual and Textual Medium’, Photography & Culture, 3:2, 175-194 p.176 Unlike personal photo albums made after 1900, text is scarce in general in personal carte-de-visite albums and, especially, indications of when the images were taken are very rare. This characteristic seems to suggest a different view of […]


Writing

22Feb12

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 […]


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 […]


Snapshots

03Jan12

Batchen, Geoffrey. ‘Snapshots’, Photographies, 1:2, 121 – 142, 2008. […] it could be said that snapshots are to the history of photography as photography is to the history of art; each represents a significant threat to the stability of its host discipline. [Batchen describes three vernacular photographs] It’s been said that Americans alone take about […]


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. ‘The End, Secular Aura’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 173-177 p.173 Each of the metaphors used, whether the term is aura, mask, or language, illuminates the idea of the photograph. Benjamin, Proust, Musil, and Barthes, as well as Keats with his negative capability, are all saying, in individual poetic […]


Price, Mary. ‘Proust, Lowell, Barthes, Musil’ The Photograph: A Strange, Confined Space (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994) 150-172 p.150 Benjamin’s touchstone is Proust, the first great imaginative writer to make extensive use of the wonder and the magic of photography. pp.151-157 [discussion and analysis of Proust’s grandmother’s transformation] p.154 Proust’s metaphor suggests that the photograph […]


Metaphor

05Dec11

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 […]