This is a video of a talk I gave in 2015 entitled: “The indecisive moment: the multiple instances of photography.” This is outlining some of my ideas and arguments that challenge the received ideas of what photography and photographs are and are becoming. I begin with a consideration of the increasing disappearance and mutation of what is a camera (by this I mean the sense in which the term camera as an object directly connected to photographic image making may no longer be a relevant or significant relationship).
I then consider what photographs once did and what they now do. I ask how this change in their function may not be necessarily obvious – to the extent that we may still be asking the same old questions about what is essentially a new subject. Rather than simply trying to find modified or renewed answers, I suggest we need to formulate new questions in order to understand what photography has become.
Photography should no longer be understood as the relatively simple process of writing with light. It should no longer be reduced to this procedural account of what it is. Photography is detaching itself from any representational understanding into becoming a diversity not just of practice but also of thinking. The world has never been ‘out there’ waiting to be photographed. Instead, the ‘world as photograph’ is what we imagine to be out there. In this reversal much can be revealed about the mediated life we live. Importantly, we might begin to ask with more determination in who benefits from the labour we invest in creating the ‘world as photograph?’
I have uploaded the notes from this lecture here.