You find yourself sitting at your dining table; on the table, various pieces of cutlery. You listlessly push each piece of cutlery over the edge of the dining table and dully watch each piece come crashing to the floor. Now you happen to be in a library. You randomly pick a book; it happens to be a common scientific textbook. You poke a finger into the fore-edge of the book, and, behold, the theory of gravity appears minutely described in the page now facing you. The theory of gravity is now a seeing, a seeing which describes the seeing seen at the eventful dining table sequence. But it is not! The newly found knowledge on the theory of gravity is a seeing which might describe the seeing seen at the dining table but it is not that seeing. What was originally seen at the dining table remains a mystery (kudos to Karl Popper for his Falsification Principle). But ‘the photographic’ is absolute pragmatism – that is its charm. The seeing made seen by the newly learned theory of gravity may not be the seeing seen at the dining table. Both, though, are a seeing; both are a seeing irrespective of the fact that the two seeings involve different seens. Whatever it was at origin it was surely ‘photographic’. And photography was invented in 1826. One might think, hence, that the immutable is light and only light. The Blind Cave Tetra has no eyes. ‘The photographic’ has nothing to do with light (this irrespective of the fact that the photograph itself subsists as that rubbish written by light). As an adjective morphed into a noun, ‘the photographic’ would be our experience of our experience seeing as written by light. But, clearly, anything ‘photographic’ could have easily been sensed by any other sense organ other than the eye and have merited a different term. ‘The photographic’ is our experience in the world.
Francis BACON. 1966. Portrait of George Dyer Crouching [lithograph]. Artsy [online]. Available at: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/francis-bacon-francis-bacon-portrait-of-george-dyer-crouching-lithograph-1966 [accessed 21 April 2022].