It is superfluous, in light of the present Zeitgeist, to stay arguing on whether error is or is not a strictly human phenomenon. Error, defined as “a wandering, straying, a going astray” (HARPER 2001-2021), error, therefore, whose meaning hinges on metaphorical borrowings from human actions, is necessarily to be understood as a strictly human phenomenon. True, elephants are known to wander and go astray at times, but that is besides the point being made here – elephants, after all, are not summoned to appear in court, nor are they relegated to the madhouse, to answer for their committed errors, right? And if it is solely Man that errs, in autarchy, then error is a human invention. And if error is a human invention, then error is a human intention.
The photography apparatus is the ultimate error-prone tool – it commits errors. No other apparatus can fully grasp error so well as the photography apparatus. The photography apparatus serves this most noble of enterprises, namely the processing of error. Thus, the photography apparatus is automatically intentional 🙂
Paul Delaroche, on viewing the first daguerreotype, is said to have exclaimed: “From today, painting is dead” (BELLINETTI 2019). He clearly must have overestimated (and esteemed too highly) the painter’s technical prowess 🙂
A work by Alden. March 2021, Malta. Photography and edit by the author.
BELLINETTI, Caterina. 2019. ‘“From Today Painting is Dead”: Photography’s Revolutionary Effect.’ Art & Object [online]. Available at: https://www.artandobject.com/news/today-painting-dead-photographys-revolutionary-effect [accessed 27 March 2021].
HARPER, Douglas. 2001-2021. Online Etymology Dictionary [online]. Available at: https://www.etymonline.com [accessed 27 March 2021].