Thoughts on: The Mechanical Image

by Beauchamp Art

Because of the mechanical nature of photography, abstraction and structuralism are integrally related, as both require an interest to be taken in the non representations properties of the picture, whether that be geometric, colour, artifact or other medium focused visual subject matter. It is necessary to examine the abstract to consider the structural, and contemplate the properties of the medium as an abstracting representation process whereby the 3D moving world becomes a flat, static image. Which in the case of the electronic picture is also a fractured mosaic of pixels [MCLUHAN] rather than a continuous chemical reaction to light, thereby digital images may be considered even further from the material reality, and thus more abstract as the image file need not be printed to be seen, but could exist only as a bitmap: a series of instructions for controlling an RGB arrangement on a screen which can then be viewed as a singular image, through the remediation of the chemical photo is no an exact replication but rather a reinterpretation of similar processes (of exposing a light sensor rather than a photosensitive film) to produce superficially identical aesthetic out comes.

And as there are more image taken today then have ever been taken, [RICHTEN]  the majority of which will only exists as files, often stored online in the ambitiousness of The Cloud (non-specific servers and hard drivers located in trans nation warehouses) adding to the preexisting, expanding Data Smog, the most of the JPEGs and BMPs that are referred to as photos, but in fact are lines of code, are a greater distance from a traditional photograph’s haptic imagery, and also considerably less linear, more abstract and must be consider thus.

To consider the contemporary image at all includes seeing the tool’s functionality as at least equally significance as the depicted object, as all is an equal subject before the camera. It is only the intervention of the photographer who mediates the picture that may decide what to prioritize, which is often something real recreated, rather than explicit optical phenomena to undermine the reality of the representation. Post production . . . . Seeing the image as areas of light and colour contrast, as interconnected graphical constants . . Vector and bitmap are ultimately one in the same [MANOVICH], though one algorithm of line and connecting modes and the other a pixel by pixel code, whether photographed or initially generated 2/3D graphic, produce the same from of flat image before the viewer constructed as cells, or printed as tiny half-tone dots on paper, Abstracting photography is not a paradox because all photos have the potential to be examined in terms of their (im)material properties but must stem from a representation of reality, however distorted or other mediated to qualify as any form of photography.

In summary, a digital photograph may not be considered a photograph, or even an image, unless it is displayed on a screen or printed, created the image comes the a a secondary reproductive process; remediation.