Reading #8

Words of light


              – Etymological: relating to the origin and historical development of words and their meanings

              – Phosphorescence: light emitted by a substance without combustion or perceptible heat.

3 main points:

– Bergson here links reflection to the process whereby light is thrown back on reflecting surface. Deflection is essential to the possibility of an image’s emergence. To be what is it, to be revealed, light must be interrupted.

– perception gives us not an instantaneous vision of the real but pictures , images, and photographs which in turn constitute whatever reality may be for Bergson.

– To obtain this conversion from the virtual to the actual, it would be necessary , not to throw more light on the object , but , on the contrary, to obscure some of its aspects, to diminish it by the greater part of itself, so that the remainder, instead of being encased in its surroundings as a thing, should detach itself from them as a picture”

2 interesting points:

– perception works like a camera to seize reality but rather because, working like a camera, it fails to seize reality

– Perception remains a “hallucination,” a kind of “mirage,” because it does not belong to the domain of knowledge

1 pertinent question:

– “What photography and perception do nor perceive they do not perceive for reasons of principle” this line confuses me as I do not know what the author is trying to convey. Is the author saying what perception and photography perceive they don’t perceive because of human knowledge?

Photography and liquid intelligence


– Techne: is a term, etymologically derived from the Greek word τέχνη that is often translated as “craftsmanship”, “craft”, or “art”.

– substratum: an underlying layer or substance, in particular a layer of rock or soil beneath the surface of the ground.

3 main points:

– A natural form, is an expression of infinitesimal metamorphoses of quality. Photography seems perfectly adapted for representing this kind of movement of form, because the mechanical character of the action of opening and closing the shutter.

– relation of necessity between the phenomenon of the movement of a liquid, and the means of representation, it is of course emblematic of the technological and ecological dilemma in relation to nature, defined as the “liquid intelligence”.

– the dry part of photography is identified with optics and mechanisms, it is identified with specific technological intelligence of image- making, the glass (lenses) and machinery (calibrators and shutter)

2 interesting points:

–  water represents an archaism in photography, one that is excluded, contained, or channelled by its hydraulics, connects photography to the past and embodies a memory trace of very ancient production processes.

– video and computers will replace photographic film across a broad range of image making-processes, if this happens there will be a new displacement for water in photography, it will become distant from the immediate production process, and vanish to more distant horizon of the generation of electricity.

1 pertinent question:

– when the author discusses the disappearance of water in the immediate production process of photography, vanishing of the generation of electricity, is he referring to millennials as the ‘generation’ or that water will soon be generating electricity in photograph?