ZOMBIE PHOTOGRAPHY: WHAT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE STILL DOING?

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Dewdney, A. (2021). ZOMBIE PHOTOGRAPHY: WHAT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHIC IMAGE STILL DOING? FotoMuseum .
AuthorsDewdney, A.
Abstract

This contribution to Still Searching… is based upon the argument of my book, Forget Photography (Goldsmiths Press, 2021). The blog series is an opportunity to share some of the thinking of Forget Photography and hopefully engage in a broader dialogue about the current state of the politics of the image. The central paradox I explore is that, at a moment when photography is being technically replaced by screens, algorithms and data flow, photographic cultures are proliferating like never before. Photography is everywhere, but not as we have known it: for some time it has been an undead, a zombie, in which the established language, thinking, meanings and values of photography now stand as an obstacle to grasping the new condition. I argue that the very term photography is a barrier to understanding the altered state of the default visual image, but understanding the nature of those barriers remains a puzzle. The blog series is haunted by a pervasive problem: which is that the photographic image in computational culture continues to function as a system of universal representation, which underwrites a capitalist social formation. The persistence of a system of representation operating in a non-representational computational mode of reproduction is a paradox, and something I explore further in what transpires in this exchange. Over the course of my contribution, which is structured around three cold cases – investigations into the mortal remains of photography –, I will focus upon what keeps the logic of representation in place, how it intersects with the exhaustion of democratic politics and the inwardness of socialist organisation and how image circulation reinforces hyper-individualism and the pursuit of identity politics.

KeywordsZombie, Photography, Institutions, knowledge, history
Year2021
PublisherFotoMuseum
Web address (URL)https://www.fotomuseum.ch/en/series/zombie-photography-what-is-the-photographic-image-still-doing/
File
File description
Blog entry 1
Publication dates
Print01 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Sep 2021
Deposited04 Mar 2024
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/9206v

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