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Selected Works

2009

Ambivalence

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Full-Text Articles in Intellectual History

Photographic Ambivalence And Historical Consciousness, Michael S. Roth Nov 2009

Photographic Ambivalence And Historical Consciousness, Michael S. Roth

Michael S Roth

This essay focuses on three topics that arose at the Photography and Historical Interpretation conference: photography’s incapacity to conceive duration; photography and the “rim of ontological uncertainty;” photography’s “anthropological revolution.” In the late nineteenth century, blindness to duration was conceptualized as the cost of photographic precision. Since the late twentieth century, blindness to our own desires, or inauthenticity, has been underlined as the price of photographic ubiquity. These forms of blindness, however, are not so much disabilities to be overcome as they are aspects of modern consciousness to be acknowledged. The engagement with photography’s impact on historical ...