7. A Contemporary Language for Photography
How many numbers does it take to define a photograph ?
Roughly 20 million numbers can record all of the information on a single 35mm black & white negative, where each number has a value between 0 and 255" (Holzmann 1988, p.8)
The Charged-Coupled Device (C.C.D.), patented Bell Labs December 31st 1974, has revolutionised the making of photographs.By packing thousands of these CCD devices onto a piece of silicon an image sensor can be constructed that can instantly sample and encode an image.
Digital photography, multimedia and cyberculture have now been added to the critical agenda. Working with digital technology is having a dramatic effect on "classical" photography and many contemporary writers have sought to address areas of particular concern.
" Freehand sketching for example is a mostly nonalgorithmic process, every freely made mark that the artist chooses to execute is the realisation of an intention and the result is usually something that has a strong personal character. Prestige attaches to skillfull and accurate work of this kind: not everybody can do it. But when an artist traces a form ... or uses a camera obscura the process has a much more algorithmic character, there is little prestige to be had through accuracy. Potentialy a digital photograph stands at any point on the spectrum from algorithmic to intentional."William J. Mitchell The Reconfigured Eye (1992)p.30.
Mitchell proposes that digital photography, while a revolution in technique, can also be seen as a continuity of the Renaissance quest for total perspective control.
7.1 Timothy Druckrey is among the established writers and critcs on digital media. His introduction "Welcome to Netopolis" launched the First Session of the Year of Photography and the Electronic Image (January 1998). Folowing from this a series of esays from his edited compendium of essays "Electronic Culture" (1996) which offers a diverse selection of essays on hypermedia. Readings include...
7.2 "The Virtual Unconscious in Photography"(Robins 1996) and
7.3 "From the Photograph to Postphotographic Practice"( Tomas 1996).
7.4 "The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems" (Nichols 1996) re-configures Walter Benjamin's classic essay to include the cyborgs under multinational capitalism. Off topic we should note the "cyborg" concepy was proposed by Donna J. Haraway to addresses the new cybernetic interface of the person/machine. see (Haraway1991).
Adam Woolfittt Ethics and How to Digitize Them (1991) 1. Manipulation and Media Wars 2. The future of Copyright 3. International Picture Libraries Inc.
" To draw an analogy with the automobile industry, we are at about 1917; before the invention of the electric starter, before the building of the freeway systems; before any of the things that made mass personalised transport systems possible. "(Kodak's C.E.O.(1991)
Martin Evenings "Digital Futures"(1997) On the future for professional photography [http://www.evening.demon.co.uk] and [http://www.bh.com/focalpress/evening].
7.5 Alan Friedman 5 Solutions to Intellectual Property in a Digital Age.(1996) in Leonardo Journal (New York) Vol 29 No.4 1996, pp321-322.
7.6 Finally Lev Manovich's paper "Database as a a Genre of New Media"(1998) suggests that the sequential narrative, a common format for albums of photographs, may well be replaced by hypermedia databases of images,sound recordings,video clips and/or texts.
1. Royal and other patronages
2. Digital as a loss leader
3. Statistical sampling and Performing Rights
4. Computerised auto bank debit
Druckrey T. Electronic Culture (New York; Aperture,1996).
Druckrey T. Welcome to Netopolis in Exposed 02 First Session of the 1988 Year of Photography and the Electronic Image (January 1998)
Friedman A.J. Summary: Five Solutions to Intellectual Property issues in a Digital Age in Leonardo (New York) Vol 29 No.4 1996, pp321-322. [http://mitpress.mit.edu/e-journals/Leonardo/].
Haraway D.J. Simians, Cyborgs and Women, The Re-invention of nature (London; Free Association Boks, 1991).
Manovitch L. (email@example.com) Database as a Genre of New Media [http://www.rhizome.org.html]
Mitchell W.J. The Reconfigured Eye (Cambridge Mass; MIT Press, 1992).
Nichols B. The Work of Culture in the Age of Cybernetic Systems in (Druckrey 1996)pp.121-144.
Holzmann Gerald J. Beyond Photography, The digital darkroom. (Prentice Hall Int UK, 1988).
Robins K. The Virtual Unconscious in Photography in (Druckrey 1996)pp.154-165.
Tomas D. From the Photograph to Postphotographic Practice in (Druckrey 1996)pp.145-154.
Woolfitt A. Ethics and how to digitise them. in The British Journal of Photography (London, Henry Greenwood)26th September 1991 p.18-19 .