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Nicholas Mirzoef - Visual Culture Chapter 10 Summary

Late 1980’s early 1990’s frequent claims were made that photography was dead or dying, because of the digitalization of the image. A part of the reason being manipulation. Mirzoeff claims that amateurs and professionals alike are aware and can see that both magazines like Vogue and cheap gossip magazines are not a representation of reality. In the OJ Simpsons trial, an image was presented as evidence, although it was decided that a full contact sheet needed to be presented for it to be accepted as evidence. Mirzoeff also talks about the image as currency because it has no identity therefore it has value. I believe it is the complete opposite, photography has identity and therefore becomes more valuable hens why it can become some form of currency. People assume that photography was an indexical medium at that time – and still is. Most discussions about photography with critics and photographers see themselves as interpreters. What happened between 1987 and 2000 was not the death of photography, it was the digitalization of money which has led to an increased possibility of surveillance and made us more vulnerable to theft.

Susan Sontag – On Photography Audiobook - Track 6 ‘Image World’ Summary

Images has always been the report of reality throughout time, although it is only a representation of the real. A photograph is not just an image, it’s an interpretation or a trace of reality and the same is for a painting. Sontag explains how a photograph is about acquiring something, a form of taking control – that a photograph is a form of possession. Through this possession and control one can gain information rather than experience, the information one can get from a photograph is dependent on the experience or the subject photographed and that the photograph itself is only a byproduct. Sontag is saying that through being photographed one becomes a part of this collection of information, either as a crude chronological system or a family photo album. In this scheme of information photography becomes a ‘target for surveillance, and an item of exhibition.’ I am currently looking in to the same ideas, that photographs give information – although one can only get so much information depending on the photograph itself. If one were look at the information in a family album, you have a lot of images to look at and compare. Through this collection of images one can gather a lot of information, you have more evidence and support rather than looking at one single image.