M3 - Week 4: Strategies of Freedom

The week of confusions, contradictions, frustration but in the end enlightenment!:)

What does it mean 'the photograph taken not directly by human'?

I spent a lot of time convincing myself that all photographs are made by humans irrespectively of the fact how the shutter is triggered. My mistake was to come to the initial conclusion before actually getting to know the subject well. But I am actually happy I went through that battle of thoughts as I reached the final conclusion on my own, which definitely gives me a deeper and honest understanding of the subject.

Even though created, programmed and set up by humans the devices record the single image or their streams without direct human control. Once initiated they are depending only on the power supply so theoretically even if the human race would be wiped out for some reason, the photographs could still be recorded for some time...

My first example was the microscopic image I took some time ago - I thought that it could work as the example of the real dependency on the technology hence the 'not direct' creation but that's really the nature of most photographic equipment - to record something which is hard to see with naked eye (macro and tele zoom lenses for example). So, not a good example. I came back then to the initial thoughts about the medical records (which BTW took me to the microscopic images in the first place but that was a trap)... There are many really good examples in that field, but the endoscopic photo-capsule seemed particularly interesting to me. Pill-size camera swallowed by patient records the view of the internal body to help diagnose the illness - quite fascinating and really independent apparatus.

In the end, my thoughts shifted to quite extreme conclusion formulated by Zylinska that all photography is to some extent nonhuman. It took me a while to get to this point, but it feels quite obvious now that even with knowledge and excellent equipment, we can only estimate what will be recorded by camera or any other means of capturing the image. 


Image 1 - Capsule camera, source: www.nature.com

Joanna Zylinska: The creative power of nonhuman photography.