This paper reviews the essential condition of photography and how perceived from a phenomenological view of photography’s affect, value and persistence as a global and culturally dominant way of seeing and communicating. Investigation proceeds with a functional understanding of the convergence of contemporary art processes with philosophical method, particularly existential phenomenology. What surfaces out of an examination of historic ontologies of photography that traces the industrial shift from analog to digital photography is a larger, discernible ontology of a photography in flux and the promise as well as hazards of its electro-digital palingenesis. This reshaping of photography also tracks a decades long, irregular shift in post-modern perceptions of photography from a discourse locked in dichotomy between ‘formalist’ and ‘contextual’ theorizing ending in a reconstitution of materiality to the image. However, it is the socio-perceptual affect of photography that dominates and impels this inquiry into a world of perspectival and monocular views, this dominant aesthetic. All ends in completion as a photograph now, as anodyne and slender as the paper onto which the image is sealed or bright and sharp as the luminous screen upon which its shadow is cast.
|Keywords:||Photography, Art, Observational Laboratory, Power, Shift, Practice, Method, Aesthetic, Experience, Documentary, Testing, Seeing|
Senior Lecturer, Course Adviser Fine and Electronic Arts, Communication, School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia