Digital Image

This paper considers the ontological significance of invisibility in relation to the question ‘what is a digital image?’ Its argument in a nutshell is that the emphasis on visibility comes at the expense of latency and is symptomatic of the style of thinking that dominated Western philosophy since Plato. This privileging of visible content necessarily binds images to linguistic paradigms of interpretation which promote representation, subjectivity, identity and negation over multiplicity, indeterminacy and affect. Photography is the case in point because until recently critical approaches to photography had one thing in common: they all shared in the implicit and incontrovertible understanding that photographs are a medium that must be approached visually; they took it as a given that photographs are there to be looked at and they all agreed that it is only through the practices of spectatorship that the secrets of the image can be unlocked. Whatever subsequent interpretations followed, the priori- ty of vision in relation to the image remained unperturbed. This undisputed belief in the visibility of the image has such a strong grasp on theory that it imperceptibly bonded together otherwise dissimilar and sometimes contradictory methodol- ogies, preventing them from noticing that which is the most unexplained about images: the precedence of looking itself. This self-evident truth of visibility casts a long shadow on im- age theory because it blocks the possibility of inquiring after everything that is invisible, latent and hidden.
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References found in this work BETA

Computability and Λ-Definability.A. M. Turing - 1937 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 2 (4):153-163.
The Image of, or in, Sublation.Ignaz Cassar - 2010 - Philosophy of Photography 1 (2):201-215.
Tag, Tagging.Daniel Rubinstein - 2010 - Philosophy of Photography 1 (2):197-200.

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