Moon beside the lighthouse

She asked the stranger why she was taking photographs. It was obvious to me. There was a large moon beside the lighthouse. There was a photogenic scene. The stranger’s reply confirmed my view. Afterwards we couldn’t help making the commonplace observation that it would be better for the scene just to be seen – that there was no need to photograph it.

Now, however, I am unsure. While I remain sensitive to the issue, the need at times to avoid the apparatus of the camera and the misguided utopia of subsequent, permanent visual possession, I find myself wondering whether there is ever really a simple experience of looking? In recognising a picturesque and ephemeral scene, don’t we instantly project it into the non-time of the iconic and into a future in which it is no longer seen? Aren’t there always motions of displacement within seeing itself? Seeing itself is divided, unable to quite hold on to the particular without an aspect of recognition and projection. The camera simply exacerbates this. It can at times crudely disrupt modes of apparently direct experiential engagement, but it is never fundamentally alien to them. Seeing is never simple. It is complex at the outset. Mediation is implicit within the experience of seeing itself, rather than an external imposition.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *