Existential spatiality and photography as social formFisher, Andrew Thomas January 2007 (has links)
This thesis is an attempt to write a phenomenology of photography. It is undertaken in response to significant tendencies in contemporary photographic culture that make central a range of phenomenological themes and issues. Though critical discourse on photography has recently adopted phenomenological categories and, despite the fact that recent photographic practices have come to stress issues of a phenomenological nature, there exists no attempt to think photography explicitly in phenomenological terms. What follows is an attempt to respond to this situation theoretically and critically. Recent practice and criticism have shown photography to be a problematic form of the production of social meaning and this had led to a marked stress on cultural specificity in attempts to understand it and to use it. As such, it would seem to resist articulation in terms of a transcendental or eidetic phenomenology, (which tends towards the formalisation of photographic temporality as an ontological condition) yet, such temporal formalism is the dominant mode of (what thus remain partial) attempts to understand photography phenomenologically. This tendency colours much that might stand as a phenomenological discourse of photographic culture and serves to limit its critical valency. The thesis presented here takes Maurice Merleau-Ponty's philosophical critique of transcendental phenomenology as a model for thinking the possibility and the value of a socio-historically reflexive phenomenology of photography as a social form and it does so by concentrating on core problems that are articulated in his writings on art and perception. A detailed critique of what is here taken to be the only compelling candidate for an explicit phenomenology of photography Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida reveals the problematic character of any eidetic theorisation of photography in terms of temporality alone. This text exemplifies the manner in which eidetic phenomenology, in this context, is unreflexive in the face of the socio-historical characteristic of photographic spatio-temporality. A range of Merleau-Pontian concepts developed through his attempt to theorise lived experience in terms of the 'reversibility' of embodied perception, the expressive character of language, his theorisation of these as contextualised by a notion of actively produced existential 'dimensionality' and his later radicalisation of the visible as 'flesh' are examined as conceptual resources through which to think the relations and problems highlighted by discussion of Barthes. These themes, it is argued, are most appropriately articulated in terms of Merleau-Ponty's distinctive notion of art. The conceptual framework suggested by these discussions demand to be 'tested out' so as to assess the descriptive purchase, critical value and historical relevance that a phenomenological theory of photography developed on their basis might have. The photographic work of Emilio Prini, with its emphasises on issues of embodiment, its problematisation of immediate perceptual experience and its stress on the material characteristics of photographic mediation suggests itself as being immediately and intuitively appropriate to such a task. Analysis of the technically mediated forms of construction structuring this practice provide a rich resource for articulation of relations between specific modes of embodiment and their particular historical contexts. However, ultimately, this analysis suggests, but cannot offer a means of articulating a more socially reflexive basis for a phenomenology of mediated perceptual experience. Allan Sekula's critical, existentially oriented project attempts to establish a specifically photographic-art of social critique that foregrounds issues of spatiality and stresses the phenomenological conditions of spectatorship in ways, I argue, that promise to extend the rich phenomenological implications of Prini's use of photography into a more socio-historically specific register.
Training the eye of the photographer : the education of the amateurCross, Karen January 2007 (has links)
Increasing interest has been paid to amateur forms of photography from within a range of disciplines including the social sciences, cultural studies and art, but still unresolved is how best to account for amateur photography and its cultural significance. In this thesis I critically review how amateur photography has been defined, arguing that the absence of an adequate account stems from an insufficient engagement with the historical cultural divisions between photographic practices, and from a more recent tendency to aestheticise amateur productions. Against such absences and tendencies, I offer a historically and sociologically grounded analysis of the meaning-making practices in which amateurs are engaged. In responseto the lack of historical perspective on the social processes of distinction in photography, I provide a critical account of the parallel developments of amateur photography and professionalism towards the end of the nineteenth century, including the rise of photography education. Rather than simply argue that there is a distinction between amateur and professional photography, I also show how they intersect in photography education. I consider how an abstracted notion of professionalism is formulated within 'serious' amateur education courses which draw on earlier discourses of commercial and art practice to legitimise a particular technical/aesthetic vision in photography. Through first-hand observations I explore the variousm ethodsb y which studentsa cquire andn egotiatet his professional language of photography. Rather than focusing simply on amateur productions, my analysis incorporates an assessment of curriculum and teaching, but also includes students' own accounts of photography. The meaning of photography is transformed through the processes of education from a social to an aesthetic one, but the foreclosure of amateur ways of seeing is never complete because students continue to articulate a familial relationship to photography. My study underscores the methodological value of focusing on the accounts of photography given by amateurs rather than privileging expert professional or artistic knowledges. Through such an approach the significance of photography within the sphere of the amateur is realised.
Photographic emulsions as SERS and SERRS surfacesVaughan, John January 2005 (has links)
No description available.
Image automation : post-conceptual post photography and the deconstruction of the photographic imageSchwab, Michael January 2008 (has links)
This PhD thesis delivers an artistic research practice based on a deconstruction of the photographic image. Photography in post-photographic, digital culture has, due to changes in technology, become a matter of style while neglecting its own traditional process base. This thesis claims that similar automated processes can be found within information technology, which in the artistic realm has a strong relation to Conceptual art. A post-conceptual critique of the notion of ‘information’ in Conceptual practice allows for a repositioning of the image. Focusing on visual, transformative reflection, the thesis resists the temptation to present generalising philosophical speculation in favour of an artistic research practice that focuses on the inner, transformative workings of artworks, or the work’s ‘figuration’ as I call it, following Jean-François Lyotard and Georges Didi-Huberman. This research project offers an artistic interrogation into the potential of post-photographic practices under post-conceptual conditions. Apart from photography, the practice employs drawing, installation art, painting and printmaking to produce work that is often conceptually developed on the computer. Much of the work consists of abstract, blob- like ‘figures’ appropriated from digital-image material, while other work is measurement- based. Figuration is advanced in each of these through constructive processes that remain visible. A developed understanding of process-oriented practices within the digital realm, which this PhD offers, allows present-day photography to connect to its traditional diversity. The necessary re-thinking of the image, which is a key result of the research, may affect artistic practices beyond photography, giving an extended contemporary photographic practice increased artistic relevance. The research is supported by art-historical discussions concerning the history of photography, the history of Conceptual art, and what Svetlana Alpers calls ‘the northern mode’ of painting. Technical discussions of post-photography and the notion of ‘information’ help clarify underlying processes, while philosophical considerations are used to give meaning to a changed concept of the image. Finally, a methodological discussion contextualises the research within current notions of practice-led research.
Can photography describe its own event? : the dissolving of the classical perspective in the concept of photographyJenkins, Laura January 2016 (has links)
The thesis title "Can photography describe its own event?" is purposefully designed to ask very complex questions of the medium of photography in it's present moment. It is a question, which employed under differing conditions of thought throughout the thesis tests photography against the fields of difference and creativity. Gilles Deleuze threw down a challenge to the medium by neglecting to include consideration of the photographic in his process led philosophy of difference, He purposefully ignores photography and seemingly locates it firmly within a system of representation and identity that his work was designed to systematically dismantle. Whilst presenting photography as a form of spatialised stasis, often consisting of pictorial clichés reproducing fixed bytes of information, his vitalist thought alternately seeks to interpret temporal continuity and constant variation in service of the power of creativity. The thesis asks, how can a concept invented in the service of facts and positivism contribute to a new world of speculative uncertainty. To describe its own event, photography must partake of difference and temporal paradigms such as a performative process-seriality. It must perceive itself as being an immanent practice consisting of all uncertainties and intensities of variation of any other event in the world. A temporal cryptography. The denouement of the thesis seeks to tentatively locate photography as working in an emergent fashion in the service of process-reality rather than representational model and copy. This new zerography strips away the well-worn conventions of photographic syntax and imagines resetting itself to zero. Moving past the informational and the symbolic and beyond the binary subject / object position it emerges into a world of quantum indeterminacy where it is no longer interested in defining other events but of contributing to a new speculative creativity and invention. The world as if rather than as is.
Re-animating modernism : picture language, museum display and visual reproductionHenning, Michelle January 2015 (has links)
This work, six published essays and one book, contributes to the historical and theoretical understanding of nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture through two case studies: museums, understood in relation to the larger history of practices of collecting and display and to the development of media since the nineteenth century; and Otto Neurath, who was, among many things, a key member of the Vienna Circle and inventor of Isotype, one of the first systematic methods of what we might today term data visualization or information graphics. An introductory essay focusses on Modernism and materialism as two central themes and theoretical concerns that emerge in these writings. For the submission the writings are divided into two groups: A materialist Approach to Cultural History via Otto Neurath, and The Museum as Material and Media. The introductory essay explains and contextualises these groupings, showing how the writings included here develop a distinctive approach to cultural history and museum studies.
Children and computers : collected works (1995-2014)McMurdo, W. January 2015 (has links)
This commentary focuses on my photographic and film work that takes the relationship between children and computers as its theme. The text opens with a description of my earliest digital research project In a Shaded Place (1995), which explored the introduction of computers into early learning. I then go on to discuss a series of projects that focus similarly on the relationship between children and digital culture from this period to 2014. Over a series of chapters I discuss my own practice in relation to the early impact of the computer on photography, the impact of the introduction of the Internet on children and the development and impact of computer gaming on young people. I also discuss the enduring interest in childhood as a theme in photography, reflecting on the work of key artists, curators and writers working in my field whom I have exhibited and been published alongside over the period covered by the commentary. All of the projects included here address the question: How has the computer (and, by extension, the information age) affected the ways in which we describe and depict ourselves? Over the period covered by this commentary there has an unprecedented shift in the understanding of the role and function of photography. There has also been a marked shift in attitude to the representation of the child in society. Both of these subjects have deeply informed my practice. I conclude my commentary with a description and analysis of my 2009 project The Skater and a description of what I perceive as my own contribution to new knowledge, which includes the impact of my work on the understanding of the representation for the child in photography and also its implied critique of the impact of the computer on photography at the beginning of the digital age.
Staging memories : the imagined city through the mise-en-scène of photographyChu, Yin-Hua January 2011 (has links)
This practice-based research arises from the experience of travelling between different cities, which induces a state wherein perceptions of the physical environment are overlaid with memories. The physical space that reflects actual light into one’s eyes is transformed, through and across the spaces one remembers, imagines or fantasises, into what I call the ‘imagined city’. ‘Staging memories’ takes mise en scène beyond its associations with staging technique, developing it as a methodology for representing and experiencing the imagined city. This research takes three key elements as its starting point: the city, subjectivity and photography. The research project is structured in such a way that the written thesis and the photographic practice intersect. Firstly, the concept of the imagined city is established through an account of the experience of watching the same film in different contexts, with the imagined city emerging as a transitional phenomenon belonging to the gap between the physical environment of the city and psychical space of the individual. Secondly, the research draws on theoretical debates about the relationship between subjectivity and the city, and explores different aspects of ‘mise en scène(ing) the imagined city’. Thirdly, through the practice of mise en scène, I examine the medium of photography as a technology of memory in relation to the imagined city. The intention of the written research and the related photographic projects is not to provide any definitive answers but rather to establish a model of practice that offers a particular way of perceiving the physical environment of the city. The process of mise en scène is pivotal to the conjuring of the imagined city. The end results, the photographic images, are treated as souvenirs, embodying authentic experiences of the imagined city, and opening up sites for the play of desire.
The view : gendered views of observation through the creative practice and installation of photographic and moving imageTurner, M. J. January 2017 (has links)
This practice-led thesis investigates how a contemporary female practitioner can provoke thought about the impact of observation on the individual, from a gendered viewpoint. Employing purposeful experimentation and visual discovery, questions emerging from practice are raised and examined through exposition and reflective appraisal. Creatively manipulated situations of observation are instigated, through the installation of photography and moving image, to examine the exchange between artwork and audience and to raise awareness of the presence of observation, surveillance and the panoptical gaze. Working from a positive and proactive feminist paradigm, relevant theoretical approaches are used to inform the central concepts drawn from a broad base of texts. The discursive account operates within the context of comparative approaches and methodologies used by contemporary artists, shown in major exhibition venues between 2004 and 2016. The inquiry is investigated through primary research, visual analysis, and direct contact with artists and writers. Selected creative works from both contemporary and historical sources are reviewed, to provide inspiration, methodology and technical detail for particular aspects of content. Through the articulation of practical realisation, a significant contribution of selected and focused work emerges, where the combination of moving and photographic imagery is uniquely fused to create site-specific installation.
Natural visions : photography and ecological knowledge, 1895-1939Hughes, Damian January 2016 (has links)
This thesis is about ecology as visual science, and the role of photography in establishing and promoting ecology in Britain, as a new kind of knowledge and as a new scientific discipline, between around 1895 and 1939. In the historiography of early ecological science, the roles of photography and visual knowledge have remained largely unnoticed. Yet, from its beginnings in 19th century European phytogeography, to the first modern ecological vegetation surveys undertaken by British ecologists around 1900, ecology developed as a visual science. From the late 1890s, early ecologists insisted on a role for photography in particular, as a means of scientific investigation and representation. The thesis explores the development of British ecology as a photographically visualised science, as ecologists promoted new surveys and photographic collections, establishing new institutions and new publications to promote their science. Photography became a ubiquitous field method, for recording and authenticating the complex objects and processes of ecology, and for promoting a broader ecological community of knowledge and practice. Ecologists met on common ground with other natural scientists ‘in the field’, and this ground is illuminated by a consideration of wider visual, material and social practices. In particular, parallel practices of collecting and exchange — of natural objects and photographs — demonstrated a continuity between ecologists and other natural scientists, whilst also supporting the conceptual transformation instigated by ecological thought, and facilitating a new community of interest amongst ecological professionals. Through ethnographic and accounts of the field practices of ecology and related natural history studies, the thesis extends the study of visual and material culture in science and places photography and ecology within a broader economy of knowledge and material culture. Drawing on archive sources from the British Ecological Society, Kew, Cambridge University, the Natural History Museum and elsewhere, as well as a wide range of primary published materials (especially early ecological journals), the thesis opens a new area in the study of photographic practice in the history of science. It demonstrates the value of archive-led photographic history, especially from less conventional photographic archival sources, as a tool for the mutual illumination of photographic history and the history of science.
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