The brain is a model. A visual percept is an internal representation of an external phenomenon. There is no such thing as an internal percept of an internal phenomenon. An internal percept is inside; it being inside, it is inside. An internal representation of an internal phenomenon is an internal representation. That internal representation is an internal representation. An internal representation of an internal phenomenon is, simply… language. I can see the world, but I cannot see an internal percept of an internal phenomenon… unless I am shown a photograph of it. In that case, though, the internal representation of my photographed internal percept of my internal phenomenon ensuing from me looking at this photograph taken by others would not be a true internal representation of my internal percept of my internal phenomenon… at most, for me, a visual percept represented as an internal representation of an external phenomenon ensuing from me looking at a photograph taken by others. Things we see are outside of ourselves.
Prior to becoming a photograph, a photograph is an internal representation of an external phenomenon (call it an image if you like) caught somewhere inside the body of the photography apparatus. At this stage there is only a potential photograph. Something or someone must now photograph the (potential) photograph. Photographed, the photograph is a true representation of an (someone’s?) internal percept of an (someone’s?) internal phenomenon (in photography, the internal representation of the external phenomenon is necessarily, as we shall soon see, an internal representation of an internal phenomenon, which already happens to be an internal percept, even though this internal representation of an internal phenomenon has not yet been perceived. This is the peculiarity of the photograph: it is always already a seeing, regardless of when it is seen; and this seeing is always inside). Photography does the impossible: the photography apparatus captures someone’s internal percepts of his/her internal phenomena. Hence the reason why indexical images we call photographs index nothing; they simply indicate.
The photography apparatus is not an extension of the eye. The photography apparatus is the mind set before the eye. Clearly, in the future other photographies might emerge.
The representations of internal percepts of internal phenomena we made mention of earlier, namely the representations we call photographs, are Memory. The dimensions of time and space within a photograph are the same dimensions of time and space within Memory. A memory is a representation of something that happened, that happened to happen in this world in which things happen to happen in the way they happen. Every photograph is already a déjà vu. It is merely coincidental that the scenes of this world come out looking roughly the same as the scenes depicted in our photographs.
Memory mediates between us and the world.
The painter’s brush is a tool. The painter’s brush has no eyes, hence it cannot see. The painter’s brush blindly follows the dictates of the hand belonging to a comatose being subjected to visions s/he is unable (or unwilling, for whatever reason) to perceive. The photography apparatus is primarily defined by its automaticity. Photography is automatic painting. Paintings are photographs made by hand.
The photographic act is not akin to the act of lying in wait for one’s prey. The most ontologically-informed comparison to the photographic act would be the prying acts of the jealous lover. A photograph in itself is eternally iterative.
‘The photographic’, let us repeat again, states that it is what it is, implying that it is so impossible that it cannot possibly be other than what it is. Verily, it can never be what it is. But one cannot find evidence of the Other. And it cannot possibly be otherwise than that.
One half of me is yours, the other half yours— Mine own, I would say—but if mine, then yours, And so all yours.SHAKESPEARE, no date, 3.2: 16-18
NAAR. August 2022 at Paola, Malta. Photograph by the author.
SHAKESPEARE, William. (no date). The Merchant of Venice. Edited by Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine. USA: Folger Shakespeare Library. Available at: https://shakespeare.folger.edu/downloads/pdf/the-merchant-of-venice_PDF_FolgerShakespeare.pdf [accessed 18 September 2022].