“There are some things about myself that I can’t explain to anyone. There are some things I don’t understand at all. I can’t tell what I think about things or what I’m after. I don’t know what my strengths are or what I’m supposed to do about them. But if I start thinking about these things in too much detail, the whole thing gets scary. And if I get scared, I can only think about myself. I become really self-centered, and without meaning to, I hurt people. So I’m not such a wonderful human being.”
– Haruki Murakami, gênio.
Why do you think women identify with the show as strongly as they do?
Over the course of the past few weeks, Trevor Paglen has been writing about photography at the Fotomuseum Winterthur‘s blog, Still Searching. Starting out with the question Is Photography Over?, Paglen wrote that “traditional approaches to doing-photography and thinking-about-photography feel increasingly anachronistic.” A section a little further is worthwhile quoting:
“The landscape of traditional photography theory and criticism is in a similarly contorted shape. On one hand, the digital revolution and landscape of ubiquitous image-making has created a situation where curators and critics specializing in photography have to define the field exceedingly narrowly in order to have an ‘object’ of discourse at all. […] As a consequence of narrowing the objects of inquiry so dramatically, the critical discussion around photography ends up inevitably admitting only a very small range of photographic practices into its purview. Consequently, critical discussions take shape around a small range of photographic images and practices which are extreme exceptions to the rule. Photography theory and criticism has less and less to do with the way photography is actually practiced by most people […] most of the time.”
I want to suggest that the minimum requirement for a photograph is authorship. Authorship in the form of intent, however specific or not specific it might be. Intent requires consciousness, and machines or robots don’t have consciousness.
Photography really is more a practice than anything, the consequence being that photographs not only have become ephemeral, they often don’t matter any longer. Because of the practice aspect, however (“I photograph, therefore I am”), photographs are intimately tied to authorship: photographs are essentially re-confirming their maker’s (author’s) presence, one picture at a time. Or more accurately, the existence of a photograph provides proof that someone felt the need to re-confirm her or his presence.
“Images have a power that is different from the power of words and they communicate in ways that words cannot. In today’s culture, words dominate our thinking and, used in a lazy manner, they help sustain a spectrum of fundamentalist thought. Being able to accept ambiguity leads to a better quality of life and better work.”
– Mark Steinmetz (via nevver)
A village in the Netherlands with no roads; the only form of transport is boat
Tina Fey for American Express, 2007-2014