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To lament the evolution of photographic consciousness is simply irrelevant.Photography and humanity are enjoying a symbiotic development – the one informs the other – indeed the one must live for the other.
We tacitly understand that the sense of our ability to truthfully understand the world is just as unreliable as that of a photographic image purports to show. This is a great change from our relationship in 1945 with the medium.
And this is not because photography has been shown to lie (although it has) but because we don’t need to trust in our own judgement as we used to.
The existential conditions of a photograph in the pre-digital age allowed it to be seen as a statement of fact, or, evidence of a truth.
This ‘relationship’ with photography, did not seek meaning beyond the borders.
Where all other representations of life were made by the interpretive human hand and eye here was a device that couldn’t but tell the truth.
Time Magazine Photo Essay
Since the explosion of digital photography and the ensuing democracy of camera-phones we have unconsciously adjusted our relationship with the photographic image.
To me this seems a conceptually much shorter space of time than the distance between World War II and man landing on the Moon.
If you look at the photographs of Nan Goldin, in particular Misty and Jimmy Paulette in a Taxi, NYC (1991) you will see a picture that features the faces and attitudes of people you might know and see now.
It is the exchange of energy here that excites me – how can the work of a human hand millennia in the past still speak so clearly to people of today?
Have you ever wondered about strange anomalies of time?