Infinite exchange: the social ontology of the photographic image.

Osborne, Peter (2010) Infinite exchange: the social ontology of the photographic image. Philosophy of Photography, 1(1), pp. 59-68. ISSN (print) 2040-3682

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Abstract

This paper approaches the problem of the ontology of the photographic image ‘post-digitalization’ historically, via a conception of photography as the historical totality of photographic forms. It argues, first, that photography is not best understood as a particular art or medium, but rather in terms of the form of the image it produces; second, that the photographic image is the main social form of the digital image (the current historically dominant form of the image in general); and third, that there is no fundamental ontological distinction regarding indexicality between photographically generated digital images and those of chemically based photography. ‘The anxiety about the real’ produced by digital imagery has its origins elsewhere, in the ontological peculiarities of the social form of value in societies based on relations of exchange. Distinguishing between the ‘event of capture’ and the ‘event of visualization’, it is argued that it is in its potential for an infinite multiplication of visualizations that the distinctiveness of the digital image lies. In the digital image, the infinite possibilities for social exchange generated by the abstraction of value from use finds an equivalent visual form.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Philosophy
Art and design
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy
Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2010 05:37
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2011 11:34
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/15584

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