Photography the Dominant Aesthetic

By David Cubby.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.57-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 952.444KB).

Dr. David Cubby

Senior Lecturer, Course Adviser Fine and Electronic Arts, Communication, School of Communication Arts, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

David Cubby came to Australia, initially, in 1974 and has a Diploma in Art and Design (Honours) from Brighton Polytechnic, UK, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Photography from Sydney College of the Arts, and Master of Fine Arts (Media Arts) from the College of Fine Arts, University of NSW. He is currently completing a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Western Sydney. He has taught and/or researched at Charles Sturt University, UNSW CoFA, University of Newcastle and UWS as well as guest lectured at various institutions internationally having exhibited widely and regularly since 1972. Recent exhibitions include Spectacle Project, UWS AD Gallery, Brenda May Gallery, Sydney, Aurora Festival, Parramatta 2008/9, Finalist, Citibank Photographic Portrait AGNSW, Not Quite the Sydney Opera House, Museum of Sydney 2005, Somewhere Else at Phototechnica Gallery, Sydney 2003 and Australian Definition at Shenzhen City Gallery in Guandong Province, China 2000. Cubby’s work is held in numerous public and private collections including the Art Gallery of NSW, the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and Fuji/ACMP Collection 8.