Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Two Evils of Photography

Still photography is especially evil. I haven't thought enough about video yet, but I think the same applies. And I mean especially, pictures of people. Here's what's wrong:

1. Pictures show stasis, when reality is process.

2. Pictures show the outside when reality is the inside.

We tend to believe that the camera doesn't lie. But it does. Not with trick photography, but simply because it objectifies human experience. We don't think much about it now, since images of people are omnipresent. But prior to the 19th century, when there were no cameras, people might have thought differently about themselves, others, and life.

Modern, chronic self-objectification is why we cannot understand the cave paintings in Europe. And why we are mystified that there are no human representations on them. Something has happened to the human psyche since then. We used to experience life but now we would rather look at it, and even look at ourselves looking at it. There is nothing left on the inside.

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