BA Phot



I will make a note on these pages of concepts introduced in the course material and others thought to be relevant. How this interacts with the main index remains to be seen.

Entries without a date created derive from EyV, from where this page has been recycled.




[eyv p.20] This is the beginning of the course (Learning Log) and concern is expressed over some photographers' obsession with the latest gear and the excess complexity and choice of digital cameras when compared to the very earliest (1840s) and to early (1920s) Leicas. Jean Baudrillard coined the term hyperfunctionality and defined it in his 1968 book, The System of Objects, "In hyperfunctionality, the technological object is not practical, but obsessional; not utilitarian, but functional (always in an abstract sense)".
It might be said that the camera has become the end in itself, not the means to the end of producing a photograph.


This seems to be the only new technical concept in the introductory section. Joerg Colberg is quoted, 'You photograph what is, and when you look at [a] photograph you see what was.' and his blog cited. Documentary photography is distinguished from images which have been manipulated and which cannot be considered indexical.
identifies indexicality as 'one of the three fundamental sign modalities, the others being iconicity and symbolism' and defines it as 'the phenomenon of a sign pointing to (or indexing) some object in the context in which it occurs'.

medium specificity

[eyv p.31] The physical characteristics of an art form dictate its artistic nature or aesthetic. The principle applies to digital media as it does to film, but whereas the end products, photographs, are ostensibly the same (or, more accurately, very similar) the physical characterisics are very different. This leads to a discussion of Thomas Ruff, whose work deconstructs the digital image.

memes and tropes

This is not in the course, but it needs defining. Jaron Lanier [1] tells us that

You probably know the word "meme" as meaning a … posting that can go viral. But originally, "meme" suggested a philosophy of thought and meaning.
The term was coined by the evolutionary biologisy Richard Dawkins. Dawkins proposed memes as units of culture that compete and are either passed along or not, according to a pseudo-Darwinian selection process. hus some fashions, ideas and habits take hold while others become extinct. [1. p.130]

On tropes, Wikipedia states,

A literary trope is the use of figurative language, via word, phrase or an image, for artistic effect such as using a figure of speech. The word trope has also come to be used for describing commonly recurring literary and rhetorical devices, motifs or clichés in creative works. [2] wikipedia
In cinema, a trope is what The Art Direction Handbook for Film defines as "a universally identified image imbued with several layers of contextual meaning creating a new visual metaphor".[1] It is an element of film semiology and connects between denotation and connotation. Films reproduce tropes of other arts and also make tropes of their own.[2] George Bluestone wrote in Novels Into Film that in producing adaptations, film tropes are "enormously limited" compared to literary tropes. Bluestone said, "[A literary trope] is a way... of packed symbolic thinking which is specific to imaginative rather than to visual activity... [when] converted into a literal image, the metaphor would seem absurd." wikipedia

[1] Lanier, J. (2018) Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social media Accounts Right Now, Bodley Head
[2] wikipedia
[3] wikipedia

metonymy, synecdoche

metonymy — a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated (such as "crown" in "lands belonging to the crown")
in contrast with,
synecdoche — a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (such as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (such as society for high society), the species for the genus (such as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (such as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (such as boards for stage)
Added 8Dec19 metonymy is used in an essay by Martha Rosler cited in C&N p. 25.


Pertaining to the nature of existence or being.


This is the art movement that Ansel Adams' Group F64 set itself againt. The Pictorialists' approch to photography was to manipulate images for painterly effect through, for example, use of soft focus and colouring.

Y Filltir Sgwar

A Welsh phrase meaning 'the square mile' and denoting a person's emotional link to a locality. A search on the phrase surprisingly located three OCA projects: Steve Birkett, Andy Finch and The Milkman (John Pindar).

Page recycled 08-Dec-2019 | Page updated 08-Dec-2019