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Remembering “On Photography”

2011 May 8
by smonani

The NYTimes’ A.O.Scott riffs on digital photography and remembers Susan Sontag’s 1977 On Photography as he does so. His article’s last paragraph begins:

One thing is certain: There is not, and will not be, an ecology of images. (Sontag acknowledged as much in her last book, “Regarding the Pain of Others,” published in 2002). Images make up our ecosystem, our native habitat, the only reality we recognize.

While the profusion of digital imagery and the ease with which one can capture personal moments on phone apps seems to suggest exactly this, I personally see the work of ecomedia critics reminding us of how “our native habitats” are embedded in and connected to those of others; and how our realities are anything but the “only” ones that exist.

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