On our own image : Fred Ritchin
이 글은 digital / electronic technology시대에 사진이 어떻게 변화하는지 분석한다.
그런데 주로 photojournalism의 입장이라 나랑 크게 상관이 있진 않다.
그러나 그의 Hyper-photography 개념은 참신하다.
그리고 new media 를 거의 정확하게 예견하고 있다.
however, the identity of the photograph, once concrete and static, beocmes considerably more like that of other diffuse data as image arts are manipulated or traded. p.67.
The establishment of such computer links of photographs adn the ease and variety of ways in which imagery can now be trasformed make it very difficult to establish and protect authorship. p.68.
While the media photographer’s power declines, that of the editor or art director grows, with increased choices and a centralized command to survey and make dicisions about all the imagery available for selection and alterations. p.69.
Joseph Deken, in his book Computer Images; State of the Art, suggests that if one fudges by the number of calculations, rather than saying a ‘picture is worth a thousand words’, it is more accurate now to say that a picture is ‘worth a million words’. p.73.
In the computer-generated world of the imagination, images often look photographic, but bizarrely so-gravity no longer matters, apparetn lighting sources are confusing and unnatural, colors are often eerie, objects seem to come in strangely-shaped sizes, and the image often print appears to be too clean. p.80.
Such simulations, if successful, seem to question the nature of existence. is mathmatics less abstract than we may have thought?
For artists as well, the potentials of computer-based technology are enormous. In a digital environment, sound, text, moving and still images can be easily combined with other information courses. p.80.
However, once the idea that the photograph is only a transcription from reality is discarded, a new appreciation can emerge. One begins to understand that photography’s various methods of representation are not merely complex, varying from one genre to another, but remain linked to the cultrue from which the photograph is made. An argument can be advanced for photography as a rich, multi-leveled linguistic approach, articulated differently according to the codes of each culture. pp.88-99.
Looked at this way, photography becomes more variegated, less an automatic validation of the way things are. it is, like other communication systems, a way of asserting one’s own feeling through the prism of one’s own culture. p.100.
And as the prices of the new technology continues to drop and personal computers begin to contain much of the labor-saving technology of the million-dollar machines, independents will, in the next few years, be able to benefit from many of the computerized technologies that large publications are now using. Computerization can empower the individual as well, allowing the photographer to contextualize his or her own work, directing the meaning of imagery with text, layout, sequencing, and other presentation techniques in pursuit of new documentary approaches. p.118.
It seems quite probable that in the future boundaries between the visible and invisible will become considerably more permeable. Other worlds, such as the interior consciousness of animals as well as human thoughts and dreams, prehistory, the sub-atomic world and outer space, may some day be considered the stuff of a new kind of photographic reportage, using what might be called “hyper-photography.” One can think of it as a photogrpahy that requires neither the simultaneity nor proximity of viewer, and that takes as its world anything that did, will, or might exist, visible or not-anything, in short, that can be sensed or conceived. p.132.
This new kind of photography – able to semalessly interface with other digital media- will inevitable open up not only new subject matter but new formal approaches as well. Conventions such as one-point perspective may be seen as far too simplistic, and multiple points of view-physical and even psychological- will be possible. One may also see in three or more dimensions, or scan a scene, asking for supplementary visual or other kinds of information. The evolving understanding of the world by scientists- the relationship of mass to energy, of space to time, the underlying chaos of nature- and even that of spiritualists, may be factored into this new kind of computer-based photography. p.132.
Certainly, hyper-photography requires a leap of the imagination to conceive, comfortable as we are with conventional photography which confines itself to more tangible, verifiable physical realities, albeit realities whose meanings are easily misrepresented. p.132.
Now it is computer technology spawned by the information age that is broadening and taking over some of the functions of a machine, the camera, that came out of the industrial age. The camera, in turn, had partially replaced the paint brush and canvas, a simpler, more naturalistic extension of the human body. Yet he newer media, both the camera and computer, despite their increasing sophistication, will continue to reflect the biases of human beings-unless one day a computer’s intelligence truly becomes its own. pp.134-135.
Undoubtedly hyper-photography will feature a variety of approaches to representation, benefiting as well from the computer’s ability to make possible a multiplicity of forms of presentation.
Thus multi-faceted ability of the computer would inevitable alter the way we think about our internal, private, so far rather ephemerally conceived consciousnesses. p.135.
it may perhaps introduce to us another vocabulary of imagery, such as a pictography more like X-rays and laser-light displays that is more pertinent to, let us to say, depicting the air itself. p.135.
through its representation of appearances and newly articulated visual relationships and metaphors. p.136.
The computer also invites a return to a universe where certain laws, divine or not, are thought to control life. The visualization of such laws can become a way not only to rethink the essence of what we are used to seeing, but to link things that otherwise seem disparate. p.136.
As a part of the digital age, the hyper-photography will interact with much greater ease and flexibility that the conventional photograph has been able to with other media. It will be able to engage in a discourse with the audicne as well, allowing a variety of new strategies for both the producers and the viewers. Eventually, as the medium becomes more interactive, the spectator will also be the producer, at least in part, of that which he or she is seeing. p.139.
In an age in which all information can be represented visually, or by any other medium, there is a potential for a sense of viaully, or by any other medium, there is a potential for a sense of universal fluidity, as old barriers separating forms dissolve digitally. p.139.
Eventually, it is quite possible that the various media we refer to now-music, painting, photography-may meld into one great hybrid hyper-medium in which each uses and borrows from the others to such an extent that the differences are no longer relevant. Other forms may emerge, making these old categories meaningless, as to an extent has happened with the recent emergence of performance art. .p.139.
Like them, photogrpahy serves to delineate time and enlarge our sense of physical access. nor is it an accident that hyper-photography has come into being in an age marked by volumes of information, where the dreams and hallucinations of television and wall street have enveloped society and become more real than the depletion of tress in the forest, where the life of the collective takes place as much in the solitary musings of its members as elsewhere. p.141.
It seems probable that a new hyper-photography will arrive to describe and alter our sense not only of that world but of those beyond it. Photography, for 150 years basically a perceptual medium, can now become a largely conceptual one as well. p.141.
Recent technological developments, as should by now be clear, are not themselves creating radically new representations of the world. It is becoming a language at the service of power with a limited vocabulary, artificially opaque rather than translucent in its approach to the world.
What electronic retouching technology allows is for htis to be done better then ever before. p.142.
One would therefore be incorrect to assume that the application of electronic retouching necessarily makes a photograph a lie, just as the photograph itself is not automatically the truth. It is the deception that the altered photograph contains only what the lens has recorded on film that is the lie. But it is an untruth as well to pretend that the photographic representation, even if directly recorded, is the reality itself. p.143.
Thanks to the capabilities of electronics, photography is less dependent on any single manifestation of reality, on any one specific time or place. Its selective, analytic bias is being eroded in favor of an increasingly synthetic one. It is quite possible that the emphasis on visible reality and its replication will diminish and become part of a limited genre, as it did in painting, replaced by emphases on simulated, imaginary, invisible, and conceptual realities. p.144.
Once again it would be wrong to assume that the mechanical bias of the computer guarantees objectivity in these new desrciptions, just as the camera could never guarantee it. p.146.
Finally, the primary question has to be addressed to ourselves as a society. p.146.