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End(Ur)Ing Photography

End(Ur)Ing Photography

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Published by Shih-lun Chang

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Published by: Shih-lun Chang on Sep 17, 2012
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This article was downloaded by: [University of Cincinnati Libraries]On: 04 September 2012, At: 04:10Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registeredoffice: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK
Photographies
Publication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpho20
End(ur)ing Photography
Matilde NardelliVersion of record first published: 28 Aug 2012
To cite this article:
Matilde Nardelli (2012): End(ur)ing Photography, Photographies,DOI:10.1080/17540763.2012.700527
To link to this article:
http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2012.700527
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLEFull terms and conditions of use:http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionsThis article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematicreproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representationthat the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of anyinstructions, formulae, and drug doses should be independently verified with primarysources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings,demand, or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly orindirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.
 
Matilde Nardelli
END(UR)ING PHOTOGRAPHY
 As recent studies tend to note, the convergence of photography and cinema onto a shared digital platform has caused these media to shed some, if not all, of their specificity. Littlethought has been given, in this context, to the way in which photography may be turningcinematic because of a shift toward the durational in the conditions of its experience. For,as a consequence of being most often consumed off a screen, the photograph is increasingly experienced as an image that, not unlike cinema, has duration and, indeed, ends. The presentarticle considers what can be described as a “cinematization” of photography in contempo-rary viewing habits, and outlines a critical historical context for these changes in the slide projections and films of photographs of 1960s and 1970s visual art.
Inherrecentmeditationondifferenttypesofimages,LauraMulveyatonepointremarksthat, unlike cinema, the photograph does not end (83).
1
An end
ing
cinema versus anend
less
photograph: though differently formulated, this contrast can in fact be recog-nized in commonly held views of photography. For it is this sense of a lack of “end”, to both the photograph as object which is wholly in view at any one time and therepresented moment it forever suspends, that has led to conceptions of the photographas a-durational, if not a-temporal. The opposition between an ending cinema and anendless photograph, however, loses sharpness as we connect it to what is increasingly becoming the customary way of looking at photographs (or, if we like, to what most of us still call “photographs” but which, from a strictly technological viewpoint, are per-haps rather their digital evolution or reincarnation). For photographs are today mostfrequently consumed off the screen of a computer, mobile phone or other device (suchas tablets and digital photo frames), perhaps as part of a timed slideshow. The photo-graph, that is, is more and more often experienced as an image that, not unlike cinema,in some measure,
ends
— it goes off or passes in a way in which a printed photographdoes not. And if it does end in this sense, then, like cinema, it also “has” duration — itgoes on for a length of time. Indeed, however variable and manipulable, duration startshere to become an objective dimension of the photograph, a sort of running time of thestill image.
2
As in Mulvey’s book mentioned above, the relation between cinema and photogra-phy and the reconfiguration of such relation in the wake of digital developments havereceived much attention in recent years. Yet, in this context, little thought has beengiven to the way in which photography may be “turning” cinematic precisely because of a shift toward the durational in the conditions of its experience — and, consequently,little thought has been given to the significance and implications of such durationality.In what follows, I start by considering what can be described as a “cinematization” of photography in contemporary viewing habits as, as a consequence of being increasinglyconsumed off a screen, photographs are, not unlike cinema or the moving image more
Photographies 2012: iFirst Article, pp. 1–19
ISSN 1754-0763 print/ISSN 1754-0771 online © 2012 Taylor & Francishttp://www.tandfonline.com http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2012.700527
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C   i  n  c   i  n  n  a   t   i   L   i   b  r  a  r   i  e  s   ]  a   t   0   4  :   1   0   0   4   S  e  p   t  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   2
 
2
PHOTOGRAPHIES
generally, acquiring duration and “ends”. I then turn back to the past, to consider twoinstances of “cinematized” photography in the visual art of the 1960s and 1970s: slideprojections and slide shows on the one hand, and photographs within cinema — as, inparticular, in films almost exclusively “made
of 
” photographs — on the other. In dif-ferent though related ways, as I shall argue, the pursuit of a durational presentation of photography was a guiding concern of both these practices. Revisiting these visual-artpractices for their association of photography
with
duration, I want to suggest, can helpus think more critically about current — and more widespread — modes of photo-graphic consumption in digital culture and the significance of such modes in relation tothe evolving function, or meaning, of photography itself.
“The end” or “ends”? From paper to computer monitor
AsIbegantooutlineabove,boththehistoricalrelationbetweenphotographyandcinema(their affinities and differences in their photochemical lives) and the way in which digitaldevelopments have contributed to reshape that relationship have received much schol-arly attention in recent years — partly fostered, of course, by the diffusion of digitaltechnologies and media themselves. Such attention has included questions of ontology,as with debates around (im)materiality and indexicality (e.g. Doane; Rosen 301–49), aswell as what may be seen as more experiential and phenomenological issues — in par-ticular, the dichotomy between stillness and movement (Green and Lowry; Beckmanand Ma; Campany). In fact, one of the lines of argument here is that this very dichotomyis now being superseded by digital media and technologies. Even basic cameras can nowtake both still and moving images, while viewing and editing software easily enables usto switch from — if not to transform — one kind of image into the other. As the edi-tors of 
Stillness and Time: Photography and the Moving Image
put it, “the emergence of thedigital interface has seen the progressive erosion of the boundaries between the still andmoving image” as, “[w]e now have the capacity at the flick of a switch to slow or freezethe moving image, or to animate a still one” (Green and Lowry 7).But if the boundaries between the still and the moving image are now blurred, thisvery blurring is in practice crucially reliant on what we may describe as a “cinematized”incarnation of the photograph — a photograph, that is, whose manifestation is now withincreasing frequency via a screen, dynamic and durational. Not surprisingly, the increas-ingly common screen presence of the photograph is starting to be variously consideredand, in the most critical studies, it is rightly presented not as a unique or drastic shiftto a paperless or impalpable image but, rather, as a mode of consumption which bothhas historical precedents (such as glass or film slide projections) and still co-exists withpaper and other tangible incarnations of the photographic image (as with its printingon mugs or mouse mats, an application actually facilitated by its digital existence anddistribution) (e.g. Van Dijck; Di Bello; Hölzl).
3
While the dynamic qualities that pho-tographs acquire on screen — because of sequencing in a slideshow, or thanks to thescanning, zooming and fading effects available through programmes such as iPhoto andPowerPoint with which even a single still image can be animated (Hölzl 104–5) — havereceived some attention, the way in which they, correlatively, also assume “duration”and, therefore, “ends” has been overlooked. In other words, though “we do not usually
   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   b  y   [   U  n   i  v  e  r  s   i   t  y  o   f   C   i  n  c   i  n  n  a   t   i   L   i   b  r  a  r   i  e  s   ]  a   t   0   4  :   1   0   0   4   S  e  p   t  e  m   b  e  r   2   0   1   2

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