The engine of visualization: thinking through photography

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Cornell University Press, 1997 - Photography - 331 pages
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In the first philosophical book wholly about photography, Patrick Maynard dispels some of the basic, persistent confusions of thought by treating photography as a technology -- a way to enhance and filter human power. Once photography is understood as a kind of technology, Maynard suggests, insights about technology may be applied to provide the general perspective on photography that has been missing.

Photography extends our human ability to produce images, which are understood as surface markings -- here induced by light. Through an approach to photography that is both analytic and consistently sensitive to photo history, Maynard places photography among modern imaging technologies, such as those familiar in medicine, and addresses some provocative questions. Technologies amplify but they also suppress. What does photography suppress? How should we think about depictive fidelity? What problems do the new digital technologies bring in their wake? What accounts for the persistent ambivalence regarding photographic art? Although Maynard's particular focus is photography, much of his discussion illuminates issues concerning other technologies and other kinds of images.

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Photography as Technology
Making Our Marks
Visualizing Technology

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About the author (1997)

Patrick Maynard is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, specializing in aesthetics.

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