Reading Week Two – Seminar Group Discussion

On Tuesday 21st of January 2013 we had our second week of seminars that discussed the reading list that we had completed for this session. Below are the notes that I took  on all of the texts from this seminar:

Tagg J (1988) “A Means of Surveillance – The Burden of Representation” Macmillan press LTD, Pages 66102

  • 1972
  • Difficult to read
  • Doesn’t assume that you have any knowledge – an awful lot of detail
  • Marxism
  • How the photographs are used in different areas, e.g. police
  • Photography is a record of reality
  • The camera can lie – ? Debatable
  • Regulations they have to abide by
  • Over-arching theme = how photography is used as evidence
  • Technical revolutions
  • Referred to Benjamin Walker (previous week – )
  • Google references for context
  • Behave yourself if you think you are being watched
  • Categorizing types
  • TIP – start chapter half way through, read first paragraph then skim read it

Levi Strauss D. (2003) “The Documentary Debate: Aesthetic or Anesthetic?” In “Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics” Aperture USA, Pages 3-11

  • Makes his point by referencing other photographs
  • Conflicting arguments
  • Did not give his own opinion until the end
  • Argument at the beginning of the text – is Salgado’s work too beautiful to be taken seriously?

Tsinhnahjinnie H J. “When is a Photograph Worth a Thousand Words?” in “Photography’s Other Histories” (Ed) Pinney C & Peterson N duke University press London and Durham, Pages 40-52

  • Not going to know the whole story behind the image
  • Need a descriptions rather than a caption to show more of the narrative
  • Edward W. Said – orientalism
  • Looking at photographs that belong to a particular culture, the more information you get
  • Information imbued in that image
  • Modern way of looking at history
  • The subject of judgemental, images as viewed by the foreigner – images worth a thousand words. As long as the words were English.” – Page 41

Levi Strauss D. (2003) “The Epiphany of the Other” in “Between the Eyes: Essays on Photography and Politics” Aperture USA, Pages 42-50

  • Source the opinion when quoting
  • Big fan of Salgado
  • Brings more dignity and understanding to the photographs
  • Keeps them human
  • Sahel – too disturbing