The emergence of photography was crucial on many levels. The exact capturing of the worldly image, the automaticity of the process, but more significantly, the fixation of the image. What is photographed was always there, very dissimilar to life. “Photography was a major carrier and shaper of modernism.” (Wells, 2008) The humanity which was under a rapid change had a second boost with the emergence of photographic technology. The externalization of the memory leveled up, it was not the monument that told of the war, or the books in the libraries, but actual instances were before our eyes. The photographic image was seen as “nature reproducing itself” and this enforced its truth aspect.
Today it is impossible to imagine a world without photographs, we are constantly under exposure to photographic images. Here there are two main points that I’d like to discover: the mass media images, of the so called official resources, and the personal images, that find place in the individual relations. Our exposure to photographic images has shifted in the last two decades, mainly the personal images are becoming those that bombards us now, instead of the “mass media” of news, and other communication tools (of course they are still in the game very very strongly). The internet, a tool of communication that almost removed all the limits of our physical bodies, changed the game completely on so many levels. With our computers and our smartphones and the way our post information society moves towards, we are much more under effect of the images that we are exposed to, and this situation can have a critical effect on the formation of our memory, both in the individual and the collective sense.
Thesis Statement: A critical investigation into the image as externalization of individual and collective memory, with reference to my current practice.
First Topic: Technological advancements in communication methods change the way we think about and handle images.
Point A: The Family Album
Supporting evidence: The physical presence of the images in the past, the shoebox analogy, and the current Facebook albums and images on the Cloud or the WhatsApp family groups as an alternative family album.
Supporting evidence: Building the notion of past based on the external images.
Point B : Home Video - A curation of durations
(i am not sure if I should divide this section according to still&moving. I think should be combined, we can talk about it in the tutorial)
Second Topic: The mass media images leave a memorial residue on the individual.
Point A: The images that we face in the mass media construct our memory on a social level and their distribution is in the hands of the power holders, which arises the question of control. The social memory is constructed through these OFFICIAL channels.
1. Supporting evidence: Events that are defined with the news images.
2. Supporting evidence: Using the power of media images for propaganda. (photomontage scandals in photojournalism)
3. Supporting evidence: The constant exposure to the “ideal”
Point B: The emergence of internet and the social media changed the way we gain information on the photographs.
Supporting evidence: The photographs that we are exposed to are becoming more personal, and more trivial.
Supporting evidence: The rise of the individual content creators gives the possibility of creating a more trustable source than the so called OFFICIAL. Supporting evidence: (Stiegler can maybe come here with his thoughts on the vanishing of the ethnical identity with the new technologies??)
1. The memory is the building block of both the self and the society, and the way the tools of memory, in this case photographic images, are used determine their formation. It is essential to be aware of the fragility of memory, as it is the basis of the identity.