Event of Imaging
color images presented here are all taken with the Canon Digital
Elph S110 camera. They started from an idea about the event of photography
and my relationship with the camera and the image. This was
not dissimilar to the black and white camera images also presented
here and the particularities of that instrument and the images
to which it lead me. The Elph is a very particular instrument and
at the same time very common, and in today's terms, even at three
years old, out dated. What's interesting about these digital cameras
is that they're cameras, but they really aren't. That's the uncanny
part, the fascinating part, they mimic the camera and are cameras
but they are also something else. It is this something else that
this work is about.
Barthes observed in Camera Lucida, 'in photography what can be reproduced
infinitely occurs only once'. But what is it that occurs only once,
the moment in time, or the occurrence of imaging?
was this idea of the event of the image, the occurrence of imaging
that I began to see as an approach that I took everywhere in imaging,
from environmental spaces to photographs, friends, strangers, myself,
video, cinema, books, objects, architecture, staged events, - anything
in my purview of interest I saw with the idea and application of
this approach to imaging, to the image. What the work is in pursuit
of is not the image per se, but the imaging of the event of myself
with the camera in the occurrence of these things being imaged.
As such the images are presented always in series, or continuum,
or as a traversing of the event of these things becoming image.
Let me try and explain.
the past year I have become interested in the very notion of imaging
and what remains there in the presence of the image. In modernism,
artists explored the unique qualities inherent in photography, from
composing the exact moment, finding varied subject matter and with
cultivating a signature, and of course exploring the very properties
of light exposed by lenses and the properties of the darkroom
in the last thirty years, with the advent of conceptual art, artists
moved away from photography's aesthetic or formal properties and
used the photograph as an instrument of documentation, appropriated
photographs, constructed photographs photography was not
so much continuous with the world as it was an instrument for the
invention of one's own world and though appropriation, the re-contextualization
of the image and its very sense. In the nineties photography is
recovered with the work of the objectivist school of photography,
but photography as a medium in art stakes out positions in multiple
and combinatory trajectories.
the advance of digital photography, the image becomes a set of numbers
or instructions, as well as with the vast amplitude in the register
of the camera, both in terms of effects, light sensitivity and number
of images that can be stored at the time photographing imaging
is the very text of images the camera, a simulated or software
camera, instructions itself, performs the camera but indeed
it something else. There is something about it as I mentioned that
is strange and uncanny.
worked in computation and the network with the algorithmic
and databases, the idea of the image as indexical or sample of a
scene started to grow on me as a way to think of the photographic.
Digital photography instruments became a way to examine photography;
in a similar way that video became a way for Godard to look at Cinema.
The digital both mimics or imitates photography, never quite being
photography and becomes something of the uncanny of photography.
For me digital photography is the image of disappearance, is the
recording of recording. All photography now is in a sense conceptual
and about materialization, the materialization of something in the
event of a kind of appearance.
there is an image of the image, the image imaging. What could this
mean? In this work I am as interested in recording as an occurrence,
as a complication and fabrication of time, as much as in the image
as an index, a moment, particular to recording. The moment of the
image is not a prized moment but one of many moments that involve
the surveying of a site, the site being an event, a photograph,
the cinema, all the things mentioned above. It was this same procedural
approach, this rules based approach, which in a sense moved me out
of the picture, and allowed for the getting on of imaging for the
work to become algorithmic and for me to proceed by way of approach
and not result.
this, or thus ness of this work as photograph (which it really isn't,
it's an image that reads backwards as a photograph or carries forward
with the aura of the photograph and as such is given those attributes)
is turned to imaging photography itself. It turns the occurrence
of time to the occurrence of imaging.
York, August 2002