Sunday, April 22, 2012

Essence Of Photography

The indexical and the Concept of Medium Specificity reveals the author's minor concern for using digital archive. That is, the challenge in achieving the goal of getting digital achive to work out is to find out a way to keep the image's aura. I highly agree that digital takes away the originality of the photograph making it not "authentic", whereas film possesses the essence of the image, being purely genuine.

Doane argued that the index of a photography is like trace or imprint, it is the impression of the real object, and it is limited to medium specificity. Doane used the example of M to explain how index is limited by medium specificity. The mise en scène in the frame serves as an index, however, what we see on screen is limited by the movement and the placement of the frame, which is controlled by a specific medium, the camera. The medium specificity of photography plays a huge role in the outcome of the image. Film, as a medium, limits the image to its originality. And, in terms of the original object and the photographed object, film possesses more authenticity of the photographed  objects than digital does. Because film is touched by the user's hands, it carries the stains, the ash, the imperfection at the moment, it reveals the user's trace of trying to fix it, and the most important part is, it possesses physicality and the trace of decay, in other words, it carries the history.The use of the example Decasia really showcased the importance of a image's physicality.

The idea of immateriality sounds fairly promising in the idea of digital achive. It takes aways the physical and retains only all the information, and it surely would make things permanent. However, as Doane said-"The photochemical image is an inscription, a writing of time", digital would lose all the image's history and the trace of time. This is why Doane described digital achive as a "fantasy",  keeping every trace of meaning, every ounce of originality, and the passage of history in digital is nearly impossible.Thus, film embodies the originality, the aura, meanwhile digital keeps nothing of its original but the indexicality.

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