Thinking Photography

deep-light-web.jpgThe following links are a variety of pathways connected to thinking about photography in terms of postmodernism and strategies of digital and electronic media.

Given the emergence of the digital, few appear to be exploring whether more effective and expansive media strategies can now emerge. The site AFTER PHOTOGRAPHY is a forum on possibility, launched in conjunction with the publication of Fred Ritchin’s book After Photography in fall of 2008.

The philosopher’s own thoughts on photography were as demanding as any of his social theory and semiology. “Every photographed object is merely the trace left behind by the disappearance of all the rest,” he said in 2000. “It is an almost perfect crime, an almost total resolution of the world, which merely leaves the illusion of a particular object shining forth, the image of which becomes an impenetrable enigma.”

Most images speak, tell stories; their noise cannot be turned down. They obliterate the silent signification of their objects. We must get rid of everything that interferes with and covers up the manifestation of silent evidence. Photography helps us filter the impact of the subject. It facilitates the deployment of the objects’s own magic (black or otherwise).”

Jean Baudrillard – Photography, Or The Writing Of Light


“Photography for Baudrillard is not about appearances but disappearances, of the subject, the object and reality itself. But this is of course a particular photography based in the action of a direct inscription rather than a chemical or digital process.”  Baudrillard essay by an Artaud scholar:“The most delicate of operations: Baudrillard’s Photographic Abreactions” by Dr. Edward Scheer
(School of Theatre, Film and Dance, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia).


“To say that history is over is to say that there is no longer a pale of history for works of art to fall outside of. Everything is possible. Anything can be art. And, because the present situation is essentially unstructured, one can no longer fit a master narrative to it….It inaugurates the greatest era of freedom art has ever known. ( Danto, p.112)”Writer/philospher/art crtic Arthur Danto’s introduction to his book from “After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History” (1996) – offers a good summation of recent discussions:


Arthur Danto
from After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History (1996) “INTRODUCTION: Modern, Postmodern, and Contemporary” (available also a pdf file)


AMAAAAZING:  Electron Microscope Images.


A series of interesting articles on “photographic meaning” is now available from LACMA’s photo blog “words without pictures” — this one from last November: Qualifying Photography as Art, or, Is Photography All It Can Be? by CHRISTOPHER BEDFORD mentions critic Michael Fried, whose upcoming book “Why Photography Matters as Art as Never Before” (Yale University Press) critiques art photography since the Bechers.  The most recent “words w/out pictures” article is on photo repetition; A Picture You Already Know by SZE TSUNG LEONG.  LENSCULTURE a blog on post-postmodernism photography also at lensculture check out: Denis Darzacq, hypermarkets, an interesting project on the shadow of markets and consumerism on daily life.


More postmodern vision: revisiting Cindy Sherman via Andy Grundberg.


Martin Parr: misanthrope on the make?


The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media: Walter Benjamin review in the Nation.


Detroitblog: an excellent slice of the city in words and photos.


Tom Kirsch is an urban explorer who enters vacant and derelict buildings and takes eerily beautiful photographs of their remains.

Kirsch’s website, Opacity: Urban Ruins , features photographs of buildings here in the States and all across Europe. Others visit England to see Big Ben; Kirsch flew there to photograph a lunatic asylum in Lancashire. In Belgium, he photographed an abandoned Stella Artois brewery. But his tour of the Pines resort hotel in the Catskills contains the most striking images you’ll find here: Deserted since 1998, the former fun spot’s already melting into the wilderness around.- Source :VSL


Eggleston’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum: Secret Knowledge of Backroads

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