Reflecting on last nights webinar with Dinu and the major question of why I chose to chose to reshoot my project on film, I responded with a partly informed response explaining that it was an action in attempt the value my past and the preciousness of the work I am creating. All of which I understand is important to my emotional reasons for making the work. However in offering this response I feel this neglects the professional reasons for making the work.
Zylinska (2010) who suggests ‘in using analogue techniques and collecting such work is important ‘preservers of value and the past, as keepers, against all odds, of a certain world that (allegedly) once was.’
Here Zylinska offers clarity for my emotional reasons as a means of preservation however as suggested, I feel a sense that one is ignoring the selfish matter of self development and the cultural capital to be associated with being adept. Throughout the course I have felt I haven’t taken the development I wanted as I’d often see the work of my peers who had created work in an analogue setting. Although late in my experience I have been able to alleviate this sense of envy as at this stage I have a project in the latter stages of development which has been made using analogue apparatus.
In contextualising my feelings about the analogue/digital debate I had an excellent discussion with my course mate Phil Hill where on a weekly basis we meet on zoom and talk about our projects and photography in general. I very much enjoy these sessions and take much from them. On this occasion he recommended I read the Flusser (1983 p32) chapter entitled ‘apparatus’.
Upon inspection I found a plethora of justification all of which is appropriately concluded when he states ‘Apparatuses are black boxes that stimulate thinking in the sense of a combinatory game using number like symbols; at the same time, they mechanise this thinking in such a way that, in future, human beings will become less and less competent to deal with it and have to rely more and more apparatuses’
Here Flusser compares the photographer not to a worker but a player or a functionary. Therefore as technology develops he suggest that advances in technology mean that the role of the photographer becomes less of a functionary and more towards the role of operator.
Whether such assertions are born out of pretence or authenticity, a subject that could be constantly argued. However in the case of my personal ambition to shoot film. I feel that in operating the analogue machine with my personal intent has allowed the growth and development to point my practice toward more of a functionary and less of an operator. Within that growth comes confidence and satisfaction in addition to producing precious objects which personal meaning.
Flusser. V. (1983) Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books, Glasgow.
Zylinska. J. (2010) On Bad Archives, Unruly Snappers and Liquid Photographs, photographies, 3:2, 139-153, DOI: 10.1080/17540763.2010.499608