photography between difference and representation or the grin of Schrodinger's cat
2013-10-12 Daniel Rubinstein
This paper suggests that digital born photography is both an indicator and a catalyst of a radically different kind of visuality that constitutes an alternative to the perspectival, oculocentric and linear visual schemas inherited from the renaissance4. This new visual regime (if we can call it that) disposes with the mono-centred grid of Brunelleschiís perspective in favour of a grid of fibre-optic cables, Wi-Fi transmitters, retina displays and electric power wires. Visual culture has now entered a phase in which computers and not humans are the ones who process, sort, store, archive and distribute images. When computers look at photographs they do not see aunt Helena, a sunset or a birthday cake with candles. Here a photograph is calculable information, not different from other bits of calculable information that we quaintly refer to as songs, films and books. In other words, digital born photography is now part of the infectious, ubiquitous, seductive and addictive networked environment that underpins not only our interactions with computers but also the way individuals reach out to each-other via social networks, navigate through the city in a way that resembles surfing the web with a smartphone (from one Wi-Fi point to the next), decide where to go, what to consume and what to do by imperceptibly drawing from a layer of computational, algorithmic, remotely stored and processed information. The availability of this layer of screen based information determines to large extent each individualís reach into the world and her/his ability to realise plans and projects.