white log

A log that had been washed up on the beach at the mouth of the Whakatane River at Whakatane in  the  Bay of Plenty in the North Island of New Zealand. The picture  was made in the early morning light:  

Cyclone Hola had  gone through the upper part of the North Island bringing gales  and rain in March 2018.  The Whakatane River  was still swollen when we were there,   and  it  had dumped a lot of trees, branches and debris on the shore by the mouth of the river.  

Appearances

This is a photo of a section of a tin wall in  Myers Lane in Adelaide's CBD. 

This wall was just opposite where I used to live in the city, which  was in the process of change during the shift from  an industrial to a postindustrial or information capitalism. Our  image culture changes into a digital culture with this shift.  This  was a time of rapid technological change, due to the emergence of digital technologies, such as the computer,  the mobile phone,  the internet as a information superhighway,  computer generated imagery,  video surveillance in the shopping mall and the high tech Desert Storm of the Gulf War.       

This is a photography of appearances, of the look of things, the ephemeral, the particular. It is an older way of seeing  that is being dislodged by the post-photographic tendency in a digital culture  to  devalue and deny the representation of appearances and sight in favour of the emancipation of the image from its empirical moorings. 

Introduction : the post-photographic age?

This is the introduction to the book.

The impact of digital technology on photography  was initially seen in the 1990s as a threat to, and a  undermining of,  the practical tradition of visual representation of the photographic. This was usually expressed in terms of the death of photography, the loss of the real, and the emergence of the post-photographic age.

This kind of understanding  signified both a sense of the displacement of photographic practice by the use of digital technology and a sense of epochal change in our visual culture. Digital imagery meant  new ways of seeing based on a freedom from the  inherent constraints of automatism and realism that tied the analogue photographer to being a mere recorder of reality--a mirror held up to the world. The duality between the photography and  the digital image  is stark and it is understood in terms of technological means of production. 

chance

There is a view that film photography after digitalisation provides a way to create poetry because the convenience of digitalization  also tidies things up, correcting mistakes and eliminating chance.  If this analogue media of contemporary art  involves a backward glance to what has been, as we become ever more immersed in digital media, it also keeps photography  open to chance.  

You don't know what you are going to get with film, even when the photo has been carefully scoped and theme of the shoot  carefully selected.