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Assumptions to Question

In this course, we aim to understand the words "photograph" and "camera" in the broadest possible sense.

In this course on "Experimental Capture", we aim to question the basic assumptions of camera-based imaging, as we generally understand it today. For example, we will interrogate and test underlying assumptions such as:

  • a photo shows a scene from only one moment
  • a photo shows a scene from only one point of view
  • a photograph's exposure is nearly instantaneous
  • a photo is viewable (developed) immediately
  • a camera is small enough to be handheld
  • a camera is large enough to see with the naked eye
  • a photo has a fixed focal plane
  • a photo is produced in only one sitting
  • a photo persists longer than its subject.
  • a photo has linear perspective
  • a photo documents light frequencies similar to those perceived by human vision.
    • But what if a photo recorded or transduced electromagnetic phenomena beyond our perception, such as ultraviolet, near infrared, thermal (deep infrared), or x-rays?
  • a photo is someone's decisive construction.
    • But what if a photo were more like the result of a query into a database?
  • a photo only shows the external surfaces of things.
    • But what if a photo showed the internal structure of its subject?
  • a photograph is comprised of a uniform rectangular grid of pixels
  • a photo has homogeneous information density everywhere (not foveal)
  • a photo is taken with a camera which you 'own' and over which you have physical control (found cameras)
  • a photo is a static media object. (It could be playable, like a game)
  • a photo is is rectangular


Recommended introductory viewing:
[James George, Eyeo 2015 artist lecture] (