To know, or not to know, and to know – the question of evidence

I stand still at the end of an empty street. Looking down the street, I observe the street lamps growing smaller as they recede into the distance. Identical street lamps simply do not grow smaller as they recede into the distance. I merely have to approach each one in turn to verify that indeed they…

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The Lugubrious Game

In my last blog post (click here to read), I made my most concrete attempt to date at defining ‘the photographic’. In that blog post, I argued to the effect that ‘the photographic’ is the simulacrum. Implied emphasis on the use of the definite article preceding the word simulacrum should not be taken lightly, for…

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Defining ‘the photographic’

Vermeer was a painter. He painted photographs. This is to say that ‘the photographic’ has been with us for a very long time, at least since the happy discovery of daubing paint on walls and stuff.  Paintings evince ‘the photographic’; but ‘the photographic’ could have only become known and identified as such with the invention…

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The Crutches of Reality

Perception is predictive. The predictions made by the perceptive system are based on the assumption that an assumed reality ought to be somewhat similar to those predictions. An assumed reality is borne by memory and hence is born out of the past, a past which comes to be constituted as such by the very futurity…

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The Crucible

The photographic is the act of recognition. The pictorial is the look that makes us want to (keep on) look(ing). Photographs and paintings can both evince the photographic. A photograph can labour to attain the pictorial. A painting necessarily evinces primarily the pictorial. But is it wholly correct to say that a painting necessarily evinces…

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Curating the Archive

The prima materia of perception is not the world. The prima materia of perception is memory. As our eyes linger on the object of their gaze, the memory gives way to what is really being seen. The eyes do not travel; they travel with the body.  Charles Sanders Peirce established a trichotomy of signs, which Silverstein explains thus: “the…

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On pain and how to photograph it

Let us start by postulating that pain is staged. Such a postulation would make pain somewhat irreal, a game even. But we know that when we feel pain, we feel its pangs genuinely enough. In experiencing pain, we do not sense anything irreal about it, let alone do we consider that it might all be…

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A Proposition

Perception and semantics are way too obvious and boring; so we will skip those two levels and start our discussion straight from the level of memory. The etymological dictionary gives the following entry for the verb ‘remember’: “mid-14c., remembren, “keep (something or someone) in mind, retain in the memory,” from Old French remembrer “remember, recall,…

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