Cahiers Victoriens & Edouardiens. Issue 102: Through a Lens, Mechanically : The Birth of Photography & the Genesis of a Radically New Vision. Penser (comme) l’appareil : la naissance de la photographie ou l’étincelle disjonctive.
Deadline for submission of proposals: 16-02-2024.
Issue edited by Pr Lawrence GASQUET
Issue theme presentation
What if the story crafted by photography was one of distortion, of a technological recasting of the world? What if the ease with which photographs have been accepted as reflections of reality was a conditioned response? What if we have taught ourselves to forget that photography is a source of discontinuity, mediating between the viewer and the world? What if we have become blind to the fact that, by encoding what it captures and presents, photography is a source of rupture rather than of continuity?
We aim to provide an in-depth assessment of the first century of photography (1823-1910), when it was still an experimental technology in France and Great-Britain. This initial period of radical innovation stands in stark contrast with what came after, the period that Vilém Flusser has described as the age of the “redundant image” – a mass visual culture endlessly churning out what are essentially the same images for the same purposes. Our aim will be to highlight the epistemological revolution that photography created, and to sort out the theoretical issues that ensued.
To be published in 2025
(Posted 10 November 2024)