important epistemic function of photographic images is their active role in
construction and reconstruction of our beliefs concerning the world and human
identity, since we often consider photographs as presenting reality or even the
Real itself. Because photography can
convince people of how different social and ethnic groups and even they
themselves look, documentary projects and the dissemination of photographic
practices supported the transition from
disciplinary society to the present-day society of control. While both analog and digital images are
formed from the same basic materia, the ways in which this matter appears are
distinctive. In the case of analog photography,
we deal with physical and chemical matter, whereas with digital images we face
electronic matter. Because digital
photography allows endless modification of the image, we can no longer believe
in the truthfulness of digital images.
anthropology, indexicality, ontology, phenomenology, photographic practices, realism,
In this paper I focus on two
kinds of photographic images: analog
imagery, which is a specific kind of technical image connected to our
reflections on reality itself because of its physical and chemical properties;
and digital imagery, which does not support belief in the reality underlying
it. Although as phenomena, analog and
digital images seem to be very similar or even the same, when perceiving a
digital image we can never be sure that it is true. I consider these two kinds of photographic
images on the ontological and on the epistemological level and show how they
influence the form and structure of our worldview, our consciousness and
self-consciousness and, most fundamentally, how they influence our
identity. I begin by explaining the
epistemic function of the photographic image.
The epistemic difference
between analog and digital images is related to the difference in material and
hence derives from an ontological difference.
Compared to the forms and structures introduced with the analog
photographic image, digital images can change our worldview, our consciousness
of the world, and our sense of self.
They also can change our views on the subject, identity, and social,
political, and economic relations.
Analog and digital images, however, share one attribute: they both strongly influence human
understanding and experience.
2. Anthropological epistemology
epistemic function of photographic images, both analog and digital, is one of
many derivatives of the general impact of images on human beings. Since Plato, cognition has been one of the
functions of images, a functionality developed through empiricism, Hegelian
idealism, and twentieth-century Foucauldian structuralism. I suggest that a fruitful way of
understanding this function, and the impact that images have on our knowledge
and on our consciousness, is presented in Hans Belting's An Anthropology of Images ("Bild-Antropologie").
Belting proposed that this sub-discipline
should be regarded as a theoretical field and treated as a kind of reflection
focused on images and pictures. In his
opinion, such an anthropology of images should be looked at from neither an
historical nor technical point of view but as existing somewhere among
ethnology, philosophy, and art history.
Its interdisciplinary character allows us to get closer to the multi-layered
function of images and pictures. Belting’s
theoretical inspirations come from the writings of David Freedberg and Georges
Didi-Huberman, two scholars who straddle the thin line dividing art history, philosophy, and ethnological
Belting, occupied with image in a manner similar to anthropologists and
art historians, has conducted broad and deep archival research on different
kinds of pictures or images. (In German,
as in Polish, there is just one word for image and picture: das
Bild in German and obraz in
Polish, which complicates an analysis.)
Belting claims that the
human body is the basic medium of
the image: we carry images in our
bodies, sometimes we externalize them in different visual forms, and we take
them into our bodies through perception. Although an image can be embodied in media
such as painting, photography, or sculpture, the basic medium of this image is
the human body of the artist and of viewers.
Belting understands a human body as a “living medium” that produces, perceives,
and remembers images, which are different from the images we encounter through
handmade or technical pictures. The body
is thought of as a medium between the world and the mind: we perceive an image through our senses and
remember it through the neural paths that carry the sensed image into the place
in the brain where memories are stored.
The human mind is a defined place in the world, that place where images
are produced and recognized.
view on images presents a broader anthropological understanding of our
interactions with images. Referring
directly to photography, he reckons that the "modern history of a body is
repeated in an unique way by the history
of modern photography" because
photography "talks" about a body by documenting it and presenting
it. We, while being photographed, are
changed into an image even before the photograph is taken. We internalize images that we see and conceive as reliable, including
images of ourselves. We incorporate
these images into our mind’s eye and
enact them, making them real by our actions and practices. We serve as their embodiment. We perform according to our perceptions
of images of ourselves and of the world. An image is an embodied medium, although the
media may be varied materials. Belting
understands an image to be three-dimensional, with material, sensual and mental
attributes, and presents it as a triangular relation between medium-image-body.
That triangle points at an ambiguity of the relationship between body
and image because the mediation of the third element, a material medium, is
necessary for any perception. One image
can inhabit various bodies, changing and transforming them.
describes the beginnings of the impact that images have had on people,
focusing on various interactions between images and individuals and between
images and social groups.
Anthropological epistemology can be understood therefore as a useful
tool to understand the phenomena of images, since it takes into consideration
their cultural, historical, social, and ethnic characteristics, as well as
their surroundings. This anthropological
perspective returns human beings to their rightful place as active participants
experiencing themselves in media form.
In this way anthropological epistemology differs from other theories of media
and analyses of techniques, as
in this kind of epistemology the human being is presented
not only as a user but also as the inventor of new techniques.
3. Analog photographic images and their
What is the epistemic function of photographic
images? In general, such images play an
active role in the construction and reconstruction of our beliefs concerning
the world and human identity. This
function differs in the cases of analog and digital photographic images. Analog images are older, with a history that,
with its beginnings in 1839, accustoms us to perceive them as presenting
reality, or even the Real itself, because of their physical and
chemical matter. That the world passing
in front of the camera leaves a print or a trace would not be obvious if the
matter composing analog photographic images were different. Looking at analog photographic images, it
seems obvious that "something was there," since the trace left by
light touching the surface of photosensitive paper attests to it.
Charles Sanders Peirce was correct in his recognition of
the indexical character of analog photography. An index is a sign influenced by its object,
a natural and obvious sign that is a material effect of certain phenomena. Peirce himself used photography as an example
of an indexical sign. The material light
leaves a trace on certain physical and chemical matter, and this is the moment
of indexicality in photography.
Photographs, especially instantaneous photographs, are
very instructive, because we know that they are in certain respects exactly
like the objects they represent. But
this resemblance is due to the photographs having been produced under such
circumstances that they were physically forced to correspond point by point to
nature. In that aspect, then, they
belong to the second class of signs, those by physical connection.
We cannot say, however, that an analog photograph is a
faithful and reliable representation of reality as it actually is, lacking any
contribution from the human hand and eye, although this is a familiar
perspective in both common opinion and philosophy. In my view, the most common mistake in
reflections on photography is caused by confusing the indexical character of an
analog photographic image with its meaning, with its Icon. Indexical character is extremely important
and should be understood as pointing to The Real and at the real existence
without stating anything about it, in the sense that Peirce described it:
Even what is called an ‘instantaneous
photograph‘, taken with a camera, is a composite of the effects of intervals of
exposure more numerous by far than the sands of the sea.
perspective is consistent with Peirce's semiological concept that signs refer
to other signs within a web of relations but finally lead to "the thing in
itself," which takes the form of the Firstness: nameless, incomprehensible, and manifesting
only in "uncontrolled variety and multiplicity." Thus Firstness cannot have any direct iconic
representation. It follows that there is
no direct representation of the world, and even photography, with its specific
imagery, cannot assume that role.
Photography points at reality but its indexical character does not
extract the one and only truth on its iconic level. Many theorists confuse indexical and iconic
levels, which is the main reason for misunderstandings concerning the
"realism" of photography. "Realism" in photography should be
understood as an approach to objects in photographs as being "like
this," a mode of presentation that is historical and has a well-defined
function. This perspective has become
more common with the appearance of various possibilities of altering an image,
and with digital images.
approach photography as "natural" language: a transparent medium of representation in
which the matter of analog photographic images is physical and chemical,
consisting of light and chemical components.
appears in numerous theories presented by different philosophers and theoreticians. Among them is Roland Barthes.
3.1 Roland Barthes on the ontology of analog
Barthes can be seen as a post-structuralist, although he admitted that in his
writings about photography he turned to phenomenology, connecting photography
firmly with memory and the past as disclosed by means of this special
medium. He searched for the essential
truth of photography and found it in the revelation of
"this-has-been," which connects appearance with essential meaning; he
stated that the photograph always carries its referent with itself, that
is its referent is present on the photograph.
This theoretical step can be understood psychologically. Grieving for his dead mother, he yearned to
keep past reality alive. A photo taken
in the winter garden, representing Barthes’s mother as a five-year-old girl,
gave him that experience. This
belief in the real person present on the photograph is possible
only when physical and chemical matter becomes glorified as truth or
in Camera Lucida, a book dedicated to
photography, distinguished two planes of an image. 'Studium' is the meaning of a photograph or
what we can learn from it. 'Punctum' is
that aspect of a photo that is subjective or personal: it can be fixation on a detail and intensive
(the Time passing.) Punctum’s function
is confirmation of reality, a confirmation that is unique to each viewer and is
impossible to communicate in the generalized manner of the socially encoded studium or even to be expressed in language.
Intensive punctum is the passage of time, the
past-present, which Barthes defines as the time of photography. By recording that which is in the past, what
was "real,“ secures the stability of its being and fixes death, which will
inevitably come to the represented being.
Formal punctum, understood as a detail, grabs our
attention and causes the immobile image on a wall to transcend itself, pointing
at the life "out there." It admits the existence of the pictured being
outside the frame and its continuation outside the frame of
representation. Punctum is
an element of the image situated out of the visual layer of social code,
certifying the essential similarity between the image and reality.
3.2 Analog photographic images: the function of realism
At the beginnings of
photography not everyone accepted the belief that analog photographic images
faithfully represented reality. Eugene Delacroix, who used photographs for
sketches in his paintings, stated that photography cannot transmit the truth of
the reality because it is too accurate, and truth emerges from selection and
synthesis. According to Delacroix,
photography is like a dictionary of nature that shows everything because of its
The belief that truth is
transmitted by a photographic image was confirmed by tribunals, which started
to use photographs as evidence, as John Tagg reminds us in The Burden of
Representation: Essays on Photographies
and Histories. Photographic images have been attributed by
particular individuals and social groups as proof attesting to their versions of truth. Photographs were to document society and each
of its members. What is interesting is
early years of the development of the photographic process coincided approximately
with the period of the introduction of the police service into this country,
and for more than a hundred years the two have progressed together….The value
of photographs for the purposes of identification was realized by the police at
a very early stage.
Alphonse Bertillon, for
example, photographed criminals for the Prefecture of Police in Paris, and
various unknown photographers took pictures for the police in Birmingham in the
1850s and 1860s (these photographs are kept in The West Midlands Police
Museum). Other photographers shot
pictures of patients in asylums and hospitals. Photographs entered various types of archives
in public institutions and
ultimately became a part of identity cards.
The accepted belief that photography is realistic also helped to make it
a scientific tool in ethnological studies, as societies previously unknown
to Europeans were described through the
analogical medium. Moreover, analog photography
was convincing to its audience about the way the world looked, how different
social and ethnic groups looked, and how they themselves looked. The use of and discussion about photography
in many documentary projects (e.g., by Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon), Bill
Brandt, August Sander, the Farm Security Administration) slowly spread through
modern society, becoming popular, cheap, easy, and increasingly commonplace.
practices of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries strengthened the
positivist, industrial, rationalistic paradigm.
This process is now being analyzed by poststructural theorists such as
André Rouillé, who points at the symbolic role of images in rushing
transformations in time, space, and communication towards industrial
society. Rouillé explains that the
analog photographic image appeared during a "crisis of truth," when
veracity had been weakened and, after the Romantic period, doubt in objectivity
appeared. This was a time of important
social and political changes connected with industrialization and the
abandonment of traditional monarchies.
The large migration of nondescript common people, moving from the
countryside to the cities, and the subsequent changes in urban power relations,
demanded new forms of representation.
Photography answered this demand perfectly, offering a scientific,
machine-like method of representation.
Photographs were easy to produce and credible because of the apparent
lack of an individual's subjective influence on the form of an image.
Moreover, analog photography played an historical role in the
establishment of a new social and epistemic order, since these two realms are
closely bound by commonly shared belief systems concerning the world.
Rouillé asserts that photographic
characteristics, like instantaneity, automaticity, speed, and repeatability,
influenced culture. Tagg questions why
photography so deeply influences our lives both as individuals and as a part of
certain communities. He constructs his
answer from the Marxist thought of Louis Althusser, who held that an individual
was largely defined by structures and systems (what he termed the Ideological
State Apparatuses), among which he included media and education.
One’s concept of self is
therefore a subjective identity, a subject or product. Atlhusser’s theory of ideology distinguished
the repressive and the ideological, both of which influenced the concrete
activities of identifying oneself, of doing things: "an ideology always exists in an
apparatus, and its practice, or practices.
This existence is material." This is the embodiment of the ideology. Tagg further uses Althusser's interpellation
to examine the power that photographic images have to make us identify with our
4. Transformation of photographic practices through
The thorough spread of
photographic practices, now almost universally accessible to groups and
individuals, contributed to the rise of modern, disciplinary society, defined
by Michel Foucault as a society in which power is internalized. As monarchies and their absolute power
declined and societies moved towards democracy, there appeared a need for a new
kind of disciplined body, one with internalized rules. Photography was involved soon after its
invention, a process described in Discipline
and Punish: The Birth of the Prison by Foucault.
It helped define identities by depicting different social classes (e.g.,
the work of Nadar and Bill Brandt), races (in many documentary projects of
various colonial empires), ethnic groups (e.g., the photographic records of
Nazi-era Germany), and socially-constructed gender roles (e.g., popular fashion
The technical means,
knowledge, and materials of early photography were privileges limited to
specialists, often as representatives of public institutions. However, when Kodak invented a cheap, handy
camera, the apparatus became accessible to
everyone, from professionals to laypersons.
The power to document and record was no longer controlled, but took on a
democratic form: photographic
documentation spread the power of photography to a much broader segment of
society. When anyone could take a photo,
individuals started to believe that they could present themselves
autonomously. They were, however,
subjecting themselves to a well-defined system of representations.
Tagg, using the work of
Althusser and Foucault, shows photographic practices of documentation as
dispersal tools used to diffuse power within societies. He locates photographic practices in the
realm of Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatuses, slowly, imperceptibly, and
visually cooperating in the processes of subjection and repression, by creating
images in which we believe. We believed
in photographic images even more once Kodak cameras became widely owned,
because we personally executed them and we wanted our acts to be perceived as
independent and autonomous.
Following the line of
analysis started by Tagg, we can go on reflecting contemporary Individual
photographic practices that became even easier and more fun after the advent of
the digital apparatus. We obtained
digital cameras, which we use to take digital pictures all the time and then
share them with others via social media.
We can observe in these practices a certain transition in the function
of photography: it has shifted from an
emphasis on defining social groups to one of defining individuals. There has also been a shift from the
necessity of one’s signature (made by light passing in front of photosensitive
material) to a numeric/digital representation, open to variations and
photographic images had a confirmed rational identity represented by means of a
geometrical perspective, precisely putting the individual (as belonging to a
certain social group) in the world.
Digital photographic images, on the other hand, work for a proliferated
identity, detached from the assumed ground, multiplying, relational, and
variable. Contemporary individuals,
deprived of determinate essence, see themselves differently from how people saw
themselves before; the contemporary world is understood as a system of
interconnections rather than as a hierarchy.
Conjoined in a relationship defined by a social context, the world
relatively independent of the camera is seen no longer as the subject of the
Contemporary society, as
Foucault described it, is not disciplinary anymore. Today's digital, modular society is not a
hierarchy but a web, and the structures of power are even more invisible. Machines do not determine the type of society
but, as Gilles Deleuze pointed out,
"types of machines are easily matched with each type of
society." Deleuze called this "the society of
control," arguing that, from a historical and technical perspective,
in such a society masses are not important anymore. Masses are closed in factories, schools,
hospitals, prisons, or families.
Only the individual is
important, or rather his or her numeric representation. Living in the virtual world of digital
photos, digital data, digital work, social contacts, and digital money, all of
which are controlled in innumerous repects, we leave traces that are
recorded. This situation is the most
perfect form of the Panopticon, the system of constant one-way vigilance over
nearly every aspect of human life that Jeremy Bentham presented in "Panopticon; or The
Inspection-House: containing The Idea of
a New Principle of Construction applicable to any Sort of Establishment, in
which Persons of any Description are to be kept under Inspection."
Such surveillance is no longer limited to prisoners, the ill, and disadvantaged
individuals mentioned earlier; the watchful system is now present in all
aspects of modern society.
Foucault and Deleuze argued
that representations are not of an independent reality but are dictated by
social, economic, and political institutions.
Therefore, people were wrong in thinking that what the analog camera
captured was an independent Real; it is a visual tool for creating images that aid the processes of social
self-definition and of defining one's individual identity. With the advent of digital representations,
which can be manipulated not only by the unseen institutions of power but also
to a more limited extent by individuals, the hierarchical system in which institutions
of power dominated life dissolves
into a system structured as interconnections among individuals.
5. Ontos and
the epistemic role of digital photography
digital photography has become ubiquitous, it differs from analog photography
not only because of its availability, cheapness, and omnipresence. We can no longer believe in the truthfulness
of digital images, since we can never be sure to what extent they represent the
world around us, our selves, or whether they might be simulacra. This is not only because we can easily alter
digital images, since analog photographic images have been manually altered,
retouched, and recombined since the very beginning of photography,
as it was explicit for example in techniques used in the area of pictorialism
at the transition from nineteenth to twentieth century, or in constructivist
and surrealist photomontage of 1920s and 1930s of the twentienth century. I think that there is another important
factor at work here: we have lost faith
in the existence of the world underlying the image, the Real itself.
Jean Baudrillard would say, we became agnostics about reality28 and one has to bracket one’s belief in
reality, as Edmund Husserl advised us to do. While analog and digital images are formed from the same
basic matter, the ways in which each appears are different: analog photography deals with physical and
chemical matter whereas digital images are electronic. This difference affects the epistemic function
of such images. We can no longer believe
that "something was there," or that a certain part of reality has
appeared at a certain time and was imprinted upon photosensitive material. The digital image is flat, not
three-dimensional. It can be modulated
but it cannot reach underlying material and therefore cannot touch reality. It plays with visuality, so that we cannot be
sure about its veracity, and in place of objectivity we obtain only something
subjective. We realize that we never truly perceive
reality as such but always "as if."
We cannot touch the numerical, fluid matter that appears to us visually,
so that we cannot confirm the knowledge obtained and proclaim its objectivity.
All images and signs created
and used by people have an epistemic function, although forgetting about the
epistemic dimension of images has a long tradition. This tradition was initiated by classical
aesthetics, which concentrated on the aesthetic
aspects of pictorial works and on their emotional
potential. The social atmosphere
accompanying the rise of classical aesthetics in the mid-eighteenth century
aided such an attitude: Alexander
Baumgarten, with his treatise Aesthetica,
defined a new, wider theory of aesthetics as the study of interconnected beauty
and art. Baumgarten and Charles Batteaux
defined liberal arts by their common characteristic, their Beauty. Beauty was to be recognized by means of the
educated viewer's disinterested contemplation of artistic subtlety, refinement,
harmony, and the sublime. The connection
between social structures and discourse on art was made explicit in the case of
eighteenth-century contingencies between the roccoco in painting, interior
design, sculpture, music, and the feudal structure of European societies before
the French Revolution.
The compatibility of this
kind of philosophical, idealistic reflection and the ornate classical style in
favor at the time can give us a deeper insight into aesthetic analysis. Batteaux, Baumgarten, Burke, and Kant were
writing in the last years of European aristocratic ascendancy, before the
beginning of the drive towards democracy.
One might consider how social structures and classes were depicted in
European paintings in those years. In
France, for example, Antoine Watteaux
painted in the new style of fête galante,
depicting pleasure-seeking activities of
elegant young men and women in parks and gardens. In Prussia, Frederick II constructed
aristocratic architecture, including a royal library and cathedral. In England, Thomas Gainsborough and Joshua
Reynolds depicted charming British aristocrats
strolling on their properties or relaxing in famous resting places. The essence and structure
conveyed by these works forces us to scrutinize their epistemic dimensions and
therefore the class character of artistic expression as the link between a kind
of social structure and the artistic images created within it.
André Rouillé documents the
ways in which present-day society and the popularization of photographic images
coincide. The essence and
structure of society presented as ‘‘truth" are evident in Nadar's
photographs of Paris bourgoisie, August Sander's documentations of pre-Nazi
Germany, Bill Brandt's studies of class
divisions in Great Britain, and photographers working within the U.S. Farm
Security Administration (FSA) program during the Roosevelt administration, all
of which demonstrate the overlap of social structures and artistic creation.
Plato clearly recognized the
epistemic role of the image, even though he opposed this form of expression
because of its imperfect character. He
understood image as merely an imperfect reflection of reality and ideas. Because erroneous interpretations have
effects, the influence of images upon society should be restricted.
The epistemic role of images
consists in co-creating our convictions and beliefs about the world and
ourselves. Epistemology, as the study of
cognition, is an historical science that deals with historically shaped and
conditioned belief systems. Epistemology's
historicity, considered from the point of view of Foucault's archaeology and genealogy
rather than from that of history, can be understood as a necessarily expanding sequential
order, sprouting out of its essential
critical role. From a genealogical point of view, Foucault,
in The Order of Things, showed how
changing historical conditions and not transcendental forms explain the
changing forms of social order, while in an archaeology explains the broad episteme underlying and it.
Epistemology reveals the
non-necessary and non-universal character of any belief system and proves that
such beliefs are not rooted in metaphysics.
If there are no universal truths to be found and truth is relative to an
historical era (as belief systems are), then belief can become knowledge only
as an ironic, suspended, "as if" probability.
One should consider the
epistemic dimension of digital images and their matter as part of the study of
contemporary knowledge. Such images
reflect the form of our world's existence as an audiovisual space-time continuum. Digital images are how we currently access
the world, and they have in a considerable way transformed the real world into
a virtual pictorial one. This is in part because we take pictures of something,
which we can then manipulate indefinitely.
Such manipulations by the individual photographer, rather than the
application of Kantian categories of the human mind, impose an order on the
indeterminate matter of the world. As
the certitude that the world actually looks the way it is portrayed is taken
away, we again have to face the problem of radical Cartesian skepticism -- the
Cartesian method in which only doubt and the doubting subject remain. It is not an accident that the movie The
Matrix introduced a thought-experiment referring to Cartesian doubt. What if the human brain was enclosed in a
glass jar and stimulated, such that one had the mere impression and
consciousness of the continuity of one’s existence? Would such a brain have tools allowing it to
gain awareness about its actual state of being kept in a jar and being subjected
to suitable stimulation? There is no way
to tell whether we live in a world or a simulacrum of one. Such an interpretation of reality opens up a
wide space allowing a boundless expanse for the human imagination.
Łukaszewicz Alcaraz, PhD
Academy of Art in Szczecin
(Poland), Faculty of Painting and New Media, Institute of History and Theory of
Art. Dr. Alcaraz is a specialist in the
fields of philosophical aesthetics, culture theory, and art, utilizing an
interdisciplinary approach that combines elements of aesthetic and social
reflection with an analysis of artistic events.
She received honorable mention for best PhD thesis in the Stefan
Morawski competition in the field of aesthetics, which she has since developed
with a grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education as Epistemic
Function of Photographic Image, published by Scientific Editorial Scholar,
Published July 14, 2015.
Belting, Antropologia obrazu. Szkice do nauki o obrazie,
(Polish edition of Bild Antropologie. Entwürfe für Bildwissenschaft), (Cracow: Universitas, 2007), p. 8. English translation, An Anthropology of Images: Picture, Medium,
Body (Princeton: Princeton
University Press, 2011).
 Charles Sanders Peirce,
Collected Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vol. 2, Elements of Logic, Eds.
Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1932), pp. 159, 281.
 Charles Sanders Peirce, Collected
Papers of Charles Sanders Peirce, Vol. 1, Principles of Philosophy, Eds.
Charles Hartshorne and Paul Weiss (Cambridge:
Harvard University Press, 1931), pp. 148-149, 302:
idea of Firstness is predominant in the ideas of freshness, life, freedom. The free is that which has not another behind
it, determining its actions; but so far as the idea of the negation of another
enters, the idea of another enters; and such negative idea must put in the
background, or else we cannot say that the Firstness is predominant. Freedom can only manifest itself in unlimited
and uncontrolled variety and multiplicity; and thus the first becomes
predominant in the ideas of measureless variety and multiplicity
 Roland Barthes, Światło obrazu. Uwagi o fotografii (Polish edition of Camera
Lucida: Reflections on Photography,
(Warsaw: Wydawnictwo KR, 1996), pp.
 For more information
see: Eugene Delacroix, "Le dessin sans maître, par Elisabeth
Cave," Revue des deux
mondes, 20 (1850), 1139-1146, or in:
B. Stieger, Bilder der
Photographie. Ein Album photographischer
Metaphern, (Frankfurt am
Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 2006).
 John Tagg, The Burden of Representation: Essays on Photographies and Histories
(London: MacMillan, 1988).
 Ibid., pp. 77-81. Tagg
mentions Dr. Hugh Welch Diamond, who used photography in his work at the Female
Department of the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum.
He also lists others (after William Keiller, "The Craze for
Photography in Medical Illustration," New York Medical Journal, 59
(1894), ref. on p. 788):
Hering photographed patients in the Bethlem Hospital in the mid-1850s. In 1860, Charles Le Negre was ordered to
compile a photographic report on the condition of inmates in the Imperial
Asylum at Vincennes. Photographs of
mentally retarded children were reproduced in The Mind Unveiled in
1858. B. A. Morel’s Traite des degenerescences
physiques, intellectuelles et morales de l’espece humaine et des causes que
produisent ses varietes maladises, published in Paris in 1857, included
illustrative photographs taken by Baillarger at the Salpêtrière where, in the
1880s Charcot and Richer opened a Photographic Department to aid their preparation
of the Nouvelle Iconographie de la Salpetriere.
 Ibid., pp. 81-83:
1860s, the Stockport Ragged and Industrial School commissioned a local
photographer to assemble an album of pictures of the teachers and children at
school. Similar records were kept in the
Greenwich Hospital School. The next
decade, the 1870s, saw a great expansion in the use of photographic
documentation. The main prisons, such as
Wandsworth and Millbank prisons and Pentonville Penitentiary, set up their own
studios employing staff photographers.
Local authorities commissioned photographic surveys of housing and
living conditions in working-class areas and private societies, such as the
Society for Photographing Relics of London, were founded. Children’s Homes and
Homes for ‘Waifs and Strays’, also followed the pattern of development,
initially employing local portrait photographers, then taking photographers on
to their staff. In May 1874, Thomas John
Barnardo opened his first Photographic Department in the ‘Home for Destitute
Lads’ which he had founded at Stepney Causeway in 1871.
 André Rouillé, Fotografia.
Między dokumentem a sztuką współczesną, (Polish edition of La
Photographie, entre document et art contemporain), (Cracow: Universitas, 2007), p. 20.
See: John Tagg
(1988), p. 74.
 Althusser listed the following institutions as Ideological State Apparatuses (in an order
with no particular significance):
-“the religious ISA (the system of the different churches),
-the educational ISA (the system of the different public and
-the family ISA,
-the legal ISA,
-the political ISA (the political system, including the
-the trade-union ISA,
-the communications ISA (press, radio and television, etc.),
-the cultural ISA
(literature, the arts, sports, etc.)”
Louis Althusser, "On the Reproduction of
Capitalism. Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses". Trans. G. M
Goshgarian, (London-New York: Verso, 2014), p. 243.
 Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, 1st American
ed., (New York: Pantheon Books,1977).
 In 1888 George Eastman introduced the first Kodak camera with the
catchy slogan: "You press the
button we do the rest," which was put to use due to its previous
 Gilles Deleuze, "Postscript
on the Societies of Control," October, 59, Winter (1992),
3-7; ref. on p. 6:
of machines are easily matched with each type of society – not that machines
are determining, but because they express those social forms capable of
generating them and using them. The old
societies of sovereignty made use of simple machines – levers, pulleys, clocks;
but the recent disciplinary societies equipped themselves with machines
involving energy, with the passive danger of entropy and the active danger of
sabotage; the societies of control operate with machines of a third type,
computers, whose passive danger is jamming and whose active one is piracy and
the introduction of viruses.
(first published in: L’autre journal, 1990, nr
The full title
of Bentham’s work is: Panopticon; or The
Inspection-House: containing The Idea of
a New Principle of Construction applicable to any Sort of Establishment, in
which Persons of any Description are to be kept under Inspection : (and in particular to Penitentiary-houses,
Prisons, Houses of industry, Poor-houses, Manufactories, Mad-houses,
Lazarettos, Hospitals and Schools: with
a Plan of Management Adapted to the Principle:
(In a Series of Letters, Written in the Year 1787, from Crecgeff, in
White Ruffia, to a Friend in England ) – Jeremy Bentham, The Panopticon Writings. Edited by
Božovič Miran, (London: Verso, 1995).
Baudrillard, Wszyscy jesteśmy agnostykami,
in: Pakt jasności. O inteligencji zła.
Translated into Polish by S. Królak, (Warszawa: Wyd. Sic!, 2005). Polish edition of: Jean Baudrillard, Nous sommes
tous des agnostiques, in: Le Pacte de
lucidité ou l’intelligence du Mal, (Paris: Editions Galilée, 2004).
Edmund Husserl, The Idea of
Phenomenology,trans. L. Hardy. (Dordrecht / Boston / London: Kluwer
Academic Publishers, 1999), p. 28.
The Order of Things: An Archeology of the
Human Sciences, trans. Alan Sheridan (New York: Pantheon Press, 1970).
Goldstein, Post-Marxist Theory. An Introduction, ed. Joseph Natali (State
University of New York Press, Albany, 2005), p. 114.
*I would like to thank a few persons who helped me
in preparing my paper for publication by comments, questions and corrections:
Katarzyna Ciarcinska, the first Polish-speaking reader of this article;
Rebecca L. Farinas, the first English-speaking reader of this article; Justin
Humphreys and Elizabeth Gagnon for their work with me on the English form of
presenting my ideas; and the anonymous reader from CA who helped me to develop my ideas in a more precise way and to
prepare my paper for publication.