Unreal Nature

May 29, 2010

Drawing Together

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:10 am

… As Latour has argued, the fragile graphic and material qualities of paper inscriptions belie the power that they wield: “By working on papers alone, on fragile inscriptions that are immensely less than the things from which they are extracted, it is still possible to dominate all things and all people … This is the view of power we get at by following this theme of visualization and cognition in all its consequences. If you want to understand what draws things together, then look at what draws things together.”

… At the core of these projects [Susan Meiselas’s work with the Kurds and the Dani] is the way in which photographs remain active. They have long lives, and their infinite recodability opens a multitude of readings. … Ultimately, the photographs entangle lives — those of the subjects, the users, and the viewers.

That snip is from an essay Entangled Documents: Visualized Histories by Elizabeth Edwards.

In the last sentence quoted, “the users,” is an interestingly vague substitution for the usual third-party to a photograph, the photographer.




  1. JH> …“the users,” is an interestingly
    JH> vague substitution for … photographer.

    Also suggestive of moral ambivalence?

    Comment by Felix — May 30, 2010 @ 6:39 am

  2. I’m not sure. The body of the essay is mostly about those different persons and organizations actively trying to formulate a (national and/or local) history out of bits and pieces. But I like the word *because* it makes me search for its source and test its various flavors (including the moral) whether or not Edwards meant it that way.

    Comment by unrealnature — May 30, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

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