FMP - Invisible, latent and hidden image

Sometimes the right things happen in the right time. I got to Falmouth for a week to work in the darkroom and I started to read “The Digital image” - an inspiring essay by Daniel Rubinstein…

The presence of the latent image which I have never thought before is very intriguing and important in context of the indexicality of the photograph..

..."This undisputed belief in the visibility of the photograph has such a strong grasp on theory that it imperceptibly bonded together otherwise dissimilar and sometimes contradictory methodologies, preventing them from noticing that which is the most unexplained about photography: the precedence of looking itself. This self-evident truth of visibility casts a long shadow on photographic theory because it blocks the possibility of inquiring after everything that is invisible, latent and hidden. As an example of this amnesia of the invisible consider for instance the extent to which the latent image – a prerequisite for the formation of an ordinary photograph – is all but ignored by photographic theory." Rubinstein p.1-2

..."digital image cannot be understood without taking stock of the delicate workings of data because the image is an outcome of processes that are driven by algorithms rather than by aesthetic decision-making and therefore cannot be comprehended through the holy trinity of representation, the index and the punctum. This is not to say that the dependence on algorithms renders the digital image somehow immaterial or inhuman, but that in becoming computational it partakes in a different kind of logic to the one underpinned by representation and identity.

"...Therefore the digital image consists not in reflecting external reality but in showing the extent to which reality itself is inseparable from the computational processes that shape it." p.6

For Heidegger, for instance, modern technology is nothing technological, it is not a tool in the service of progress; rather, it is the way by which subjectivity is constituted through the process of creation:

"Technology is therefore no mere means. Technology is a way of revealing. If we give heed to this, then another whole realm for the essence of technology will open itself to us. It is the realm of revealing, i.e. of truth.” Rubinstein p.11 



Rubinstein Daniel, August 2013, The Digital Image,