Over the next few weeks, I want begin thinking about how to begin thinking through the 21st Century’s emerging photographic landscape, and the ways both photographic practices and photographs themselves are changing. To do that, I want to start from the beginning by developing an expanded definition of photography, and exploring the implications of that expanded definition.
I’ll start by introducing the idea of photography as “seeing machines” and explore questions such as: How do we see the world with machines? What happens if we think about photography in terms of imaging systems instead of images? How can we think about images made-by-machines-for-other-machines? What are the implications of a world in which photography is both ubiquitous and, curiously, largely invisible?
Without question, the 21st Century will be a photographic century. Photography will play a more fundamental role in the functioning of 21st Century societies than 20th Century practitioners working with light-sensitive emulsions and photographic papers could have ever dreamed. So while in one sense photography might be “over,” in another, it’s barely gotten going. And we haven’t seen anything yet.