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Nobody Sees Like You do: How Photography Creates Conversations without Words[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Nilanjana Bhattacharjya, Arizona State University

"I had started taking pictures of things a month earlier, in late April. Traveling to Chicago for a conference, I had discovered that an acquaintance would be giving a lecture there that same evening. [...] We decided to visit the Art Institute, where I’d never gone, the next day. Teju brought his camera, and as he occasionally stopped to take pictures of this and that as we made our way through the galleries, I came to understand that he was always looking. After some time, I also came to understand at least part of what he was capturing, and why. When I returned home, I started to notice things I hadn’t before — the shadows cast by the Palo Verde branches; the tension between the concrete and the plants and trees, between the yellow agave blooms and the asphalt; the play of reflections in a puddle left by the morning sprinklers; narrow shafts of light penetrating the shade; and the stark contours of the concrete buildings against the desert dirt and sky. I started to take pictures of these things on my phone because I could, and I uploaded them to Instagram. Looking for things that made the familiar less familiar, and thus more interesting, became a game that I played on my own. I looked for things that imposed a sense of unity, as disparate items in a frame settled into a quiet balance. The game also focused my mind and became almost meditative."

  • Photographie modifie le regard
  • Tension entre l'unicité et l'unique
  • Format du feed instagram "organise" le regard

"As I looked through Stephen Shore's American Surfaces, I started to understand why and how my daily pictures of ordinary things around me that I encountered each day weren’t as alien to the act (the art?) of photography as I thought. I started to sense how a sequence of photographs can construct their own geography."

  • Organisation et ordre des photographies / création d'une géographie et d'un récit

"I shared the photographs I took in the parking structure next to my office because they conveyed something about my experience in that garage that I didn’t have the capacity to communicate in words. Each time I parked I would marvel at the different shadows and patterns of light, depending on the time of day and where I found a parking place. I was grateful to take a few moments to appreciate this space I was in, which would otherwise be swallowed by the routine of the work day. The fact that I didn’t have to use words to communicate my appreciation of the parking garage felt revolutionary and liberating…"

  • Images offrent des possibilités de transmission de l'expérience que les mots ne peuvent pas traduire

"Seeing other people’s feeds over time has helped me understand how their eyes encounter their world, which often looks very different from my own. But even seeing those images from remote places have helped me see things at home I otherwise would miss. I’m always wondering how a community of people who connect through images differs through one who connect through words, and how our feeds reflect our individuality as well as our relationships to and conversations with each other — through images."

  • Idée de commmunauté / le feed s'inscrit au sein d'une communauté tout en portant la trace d'une individualité

"John Berger better explains the relationship among photographs, memory, and time: A photograph preserves a moment of time and prevents it being effaced by the supersession of further moments. In this respect photographs might be compared to images stored in the memory. Yet there is a fundamental difference: whereas remembered images are the residue of a continuous experience, a photograph isolates the appearances of a disconnected instant. (Understanding a Photograph, p. 64.)"

  • Images/photographies distinctes dans leur temporalité. Les images dont on se souvient ramène à une expérience plutôt qu'à un instant précis (photos)

"The idea that our photographs can capture a moment that exists independently of the time and space around it almost somehow intensifies that initial experience of seeing in clearer, more distinct terms than memory can. And yet as Berger later writes, these series of isolated moments in our photographs often coalesce into narrative unity, as in a montage."

  • Présence d'une unité narrative dans la fragmentation photographique de l'expérience

"In those cases I’m in a new city, I’m always trying to articulate in my own mind what distinguishes this city from others — in terms of what I can see, but also in terms of what I can hear, smell, and feel on my skin. I think that looking more carefully has sharpened my other senses — or at least my memories of different places, perhaps because my visual memory grounds my memory of those other senses."

  • Transformation simultanée de l'expérience et du récit photographique de cette expérience dans le voyage

"Consciously or unconsciously, I recognize some points of continuity in my photographs even if they aren’t evident to others. I often think about walking, and what it means to engage with and see the world while walking and thinking at 3 miles an hour, as opposed to driving past in a car, as I do most of the time."

Seattle's Pike Place Market (De)constructed: An Analysis of Tourist Narratives about a Public Space[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

Giorgia Aiello et Irina Gendelman, University of Washington

"[...], the market is commonly centre stage in promotional literature and tour guides about the city. It is so visually recognisable that seemingly arbitrary imagery, such as a part of a neon coffee cup or a heap of fish are typically used metonymically to signify the market" 158

  • Figures métonymiques

"Ultimately, any narrative only reveals specific portions of a certain world, while inevitably excluding others. In doing so, then, it also produces a particular and often particularistic perspective on the reality that it ‘tells’. Conversely, in creating tourist narratives about a public space such as the Pike Place Market, producers of both visual and linguistic texts incorporate ‘pre-existing units of information’ (Said, 1979: 94) in their work. As Foucault (1980) explains in his theoretical work on discourse, knowledge and representation are informed and shaped by a historically constituted authoritative ‘tradition’. For this reason, Said’s notion of textuality – which is based on Foucault’s theoretical stance – is key when exploring power relations in the production of narratives denying the identity and overall ‘reality’ of a tourist site. Textuality can be defined as the (re)production of knowledge about a given reality through a web of authoritative texts (Said, 1979)" 160

"Our main research question, then, is whether and how tourists use, in the production of their images, narrative themes and aesthetic norms deriving from institutional forms of representation (such as those offered by mainstream visual and print media). This research question draws inspiration from film scholar Burch’s book Life to those Shadows (1990), in which he argues that ‘the “language” of the cinema is in no way natural, a fortiori that it is not eternal, that it has a history and is a product of History’ (Burch, 1990: 2). Burch’s goal is to denaturalise this underlying assumption, by examining the social and historical circumstances in which ‘an Institutional Mode of Representation’ (Burch, 1990: 2) was constituted and systematised in a set of aesthetic principles (framing, camera movements, lighting, editing, etc.) that ‘has been explicitly taught in film schools as the Language of Cinema, and which, whoever we are, we all internalise at an early stage as a reading competence thanks to an exposure to !lms’ (1990: 2)" 161

  • La photographie de voyage au carrefour de plusieurs influences - cinéma, photo, industrie du voyage, réseaux sociaux de partage de photo, etc.

"Of all other kinds of amateur photography (e.g. family snapshots, or ritual and ceremonial image-taking such as graduation and wedding snapshots), tourist photography is probably the best object of study to gain an understanding of how people use or resist forms of representation that are derived from institutional sources. This is because tourists are usually remarkably prolific photographers, while also being exposed to a great number and variety of institutional narratives of the sites they visit." 162

When text becomes, as Bakhtin (1986: 103) explains, ‘any coherent complex of signs’, the collection and interpretation of data can be challenging. Needless to say, all settings of tourism are replete with textual artifacts – ranging from visual and audio-visual media to material objects (most often for sale) and written language found in books as much as in brochures or the public space of the tourist site itself. As a consequence, a dominant narrative about a given place can emerge from a variety of texts and is, in fact, most often transtextual" 162

"[...] we see tourist photography as fulfilling a twofold social function: first, it represents and constructs institutional narratives and identities of public space through postcards, travel guides, brochures, and other artifacts; second, it represents and constructs personal narratives and memories of people regarding their experience of a place." 162-163

  • Récit personnel et récit institutionnel s'entrelacent. La photographie de voyage raconte donc à la fois tous les discours sur le lieu, les principes esthétiques de la photographie, sur le voyage et le récit personnel de l'expérience du voyage.

"As Barthes claims in Camera Lucida, every photograph – especially a tourist image, we would add – ‘is a certificate of presence’ (Barthes, 1981: 87), whose ‘power of authentication exceeds the power of representation’(Barthes, 1981: 89)" 178

  • Certificat de présence - présence accrue si la photo est par la suite publiée sur les réseaux sociaux, géolocalisée et #tagguée

"These comments, in combination with some of the key formal and aesthetic choices adopted in many of these photographs, suggest that the main aim of a tourist image is to authenticate rather than re-present, or re-interpret, an ‘experience’. These photographs are like bookmarks in the continuum of tourist experience. Therefore, the less explicit the articles or traits of style used in the production of these images, the more ‘authentic’ (i.e. less falsifiable and thus also more acceptable by others) the memory of that experience will seem to be. However, the construction and presentation of this personal experience may also be affected by authoritative texts such as travel guides (Hutnyk, 1996; Said, 1979), which in turn make claims and offer vantage points (i.e. spectacle, abundance and resistance) in relation to the authenticity – or authenticities – that can be found at the public market. Precisely because it embodies this tension and dialectic between the assertive/descriptive and subjective/interpretive nature of crafting and presenting a story, then, the notion of narrative is especially fitting in describing the textual production that sets apart tourism." 179

"In the context of tourism, authenticity is performed in a purposefully arranged liminal space (MacCannell, 1976) and, as Trinh (1995: 267) states, it also becomes ‘a product that one can buy, arrange to one’s liking, and/or preserve’. Indeed, from our analysis of tourists’ photographs and accounts regarding the Pike Place Market, it seems clear that tourists use photography to arrange and preserve the market’s authenticity – and therefore also to authenticate their experience at the market – for social uses ranging from keeping a personal record of their memories to sharing their images and stories with family and friends. More broadly, however, the notion of authenticity corresponds to the active selection and enhancement, if not fabrication, of ‘markers’ (or connotators, to say it with Barthes, 1977a) that suggest that a given setting or artifact is truly and distinctively itself and that, therefore, also implies that this setting or artifact is ‘unspoiled’ (Trinh, 1995)" 180

"While the distinctive ‘local colour’ of the Pike Place Market may not be systematically fabricated (the public market is also a utilitarian public space), depictions of the spectacular and abundance act as markers or signs of the market’s authenticity – and therefore may also become privileged ‘traits’ in the maintenance and (re)production of the market as a public space. In addition, the theme of resistance contributes to reinforcing a particular narrative of authenticity in relation to the specific characteristics that make the market the ‘heart and soul’ of downtown Seattle (e.g. the lack of chain stores or the ‘gritty edge’ evoked by the presence of people in the streets and ‘improvised’ performers). Both travel guides and tourists use these themes actively to convey the market’s authenticity and therefore also its worthiness as an ‘experience’"180

Reassembling the city through Instagram[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

John D Boy et Justus Uitermark, University of Amsterdam

"Based on in-depth interviews and a dataset of over 400 000 geotagged Instagram posts from Amsterdam, we analyse how the city is reassembled on and through the platform. By selectively drawing on the city, users of the platform elevate exclusive and avant-garde establishments and events, which come to stand out as hot spots, while rendering mundane and low-status places invisible. We find that Instagram provides a space for the segmentation of users into subcultural groups that mobilise the city in varied ways. Social media practices, our findings suggest, feed on as well as perpetuate socio-spatial inequalities"

"In this context, the proliferation of distributed media technologies is often heralded as a seismic shift: the power to represent the city is no longer concentrated in the elites controlling the state and mass media, but is distributed as people use their smartphones to produce and circulate messages of their own making (Castells 2009) [...] Instagram revolves around images. Users take pictures and optionally apply filters to them. They then share them, making them discoverable by adding hashtags. Initially used by digital photography enthusiasts to add filters and effects to their photos, Instagram has since its launch in 2010 ascended to join the ranks of the world’s most popular social networking sites"

  • Imaginer et raconter la ville; un pouvoir autrefois tenu par les instances d'autorité passe maintenant entre les mains des particuliers
  • Photographier et faire voir ses photos est maintenant "permis" à tous

"[...] We can view the interplay between digital technologies and urban space in dramaturgical terms. In this conception, social media are stages on which users enact performances. Social media users do not merely represent a city or self that is prior and external to the process of representation, but rather are engaged in an ongoing production. Jill Walker Rettberg (2014) has argued that digital media enable modes of self-fashioning; social media users come to understand, communicate, and shape their selves through communication technologies (see also Hess 2015; Schwartz and Halegoua 2015). The photographer, the subjects on display and the surroundings are in a reciprocal relation"

  • Réécriture (personnelle) de landmarks - négociation entre le récit commun et le récit personnel

"Instagram users can only stage a performance in an exclusive club if they have access to that club. They can only fill their timelines with pictures of exquisite fare if they can afford going to haute cuisine restaurants. We conceive of the reassembling of the city through social media as a recursive process: Instagram users selectively and creatively reassemble the city as they mobilise specific places in the city as stages or props in their posts. Instagram images, in turn, become operative in changing the city (de Souza e Silva and Sutko 2011; Hoelzl and Marie 2015). To capture this recursive process of reassembling the city through Instagram, we adopt a relational perspective that examines relations and practices microscopically and macroscopically (Elias 1978; Uitermark 2015)"

  • Classisme, inégalités socio-économiques
  • Instagram contribue (grandement!) à l'embourgeoisement de quartiers prisés par les jeunes (pour la majorité utilisateurs des médias sociaux)

"Instagram feeds are colourful and variegated, but at the same time, Instagram projects a certain image of the world. What Instagram users see as they scroll through their feeds, what they post and how they use the platform to navigate social and urban worlds are marked by this prevailing aesthetic. Instagram posts capture moments – moments set apart by their refined beauty and good vibes. They are rarely spectacular, but rather capture an individual’s street-level view of daily urban life, lovingly arranged possessions or convivial occasions. In one picture we find a large group of cyclists waiting for a green light at an intersection; in another, a Jeff Buckley record sleeve artfully propped up atop a record player; in a third, we see young women and men dressed for a special occasion, smiling and enjoying drinks together. And of course we also find selfies, latte art and beautifully plated avocado toast. As Henri Lefebvre noted, moments can be distinguished from mere instants, as the former entail ‘the hope of reliving that moment or preserving it as a privileged lapse of time, embalmed in memory’ (2002, 343). Instagram users train their eye to spot slices of the world around them worthy of embalming. In the process of reassembling their lifeworld in this manner, the everyday is relentlessly aestheticised to the point that it never appears as the merely ordinary or mundane.8 Looking through a stream of Instagram posts, one sees a seemingly interminable series of peak moments. Instagram thus conveys aesthetic norms that induce a degree of conformity (Bourdieu et al. 1990) in how individuals use the platform. This conformity has been the subject of numerous parodies, a sure sign that media practices on Instagram are subject to a set of unwritten rules. In fact, the exception proves the rule, because even reflexive and critical users do not play outside them. They, too, are enticed to use the platform to engage in strategies of distinction and the digital marking of space"

"We find that Instagram users act out aesthetic and lifestyle ideals as they craft images and strategically display aspects of their life-worlds. Instagram constitutes a distinctive way of seeing that composes an image of the city that is sanitised and nearly devoid of negativity. The feeds are full of desirable items, attractive bodies, beautiful faces, healthy foods, witty remarks and impressive sceneries. The messiness and occasional gloom and doom of the city have no place there. Instagram users are acutely aware of the images’ selectivity; it is what excites them about the platform and it is also what, occasionally, causes them stress as they feel they have to follow suit and produce images that their followers will appreciate"

  • La question du spectateur/lecteur (= le follower) + motivation marketing (savoir se vendre)

Hervé Guibert, "L'écriture photographique", L'image fantôme, Paris, Éditions de Minuit, 1981, p.73-77[modifier | modifier le wikicode]

  • Voyage de Goethe en Italie, raconté dans son journal personnel. Écriture photograhique / carte postale / récit de voyage

"Quand Geothe écrit, dans son Voyage en Italie (1786-1788): "Je suis monté sur la Tour Saint-Marc, d'où l'on jouit d'un coup d'oeil unique. C'était vers midi, et le temps était si clair que je pouvais voir fort loin sans lunette d'approche. Les vagues couvraient les lagunes où deux ou trois galères et plusieurs frégates étaient à l'ancre; en tournant mes yeux vers le Lido, j'ai enfin vu la mer! Quelques voiles se dessinaient dans le lointain; au nord et à l'ouest, les montagnes du Tyrol, et celles de Padoue et de Vicence encadrent dignement ce magnifique tableau", il fait une sorte de photo de voyage, il tire une carte postale" p.73

"Goethe fait de la photo "d'art" en décrivant les tableaux, les statues et les reliques qu'il voit au cours de son voyage (comme vont le faire par exemple les frères Alinari, à Florence), il décrit des visages, il fait des portraits, il étudie des agricultures, des nourritures, des climats, des végétations, il peut décrire la texture d'un arbre ou d'un mica avec la précision qu'emploiera Weston" p.74

"Le paysage du journal est une sorte de croquis bref, télégraphique, une carte postale. Le paysage du roman a bénéficié d'une pose plus longue: c'est presque un tableau par rapport au paysage photographique de journal. La description du roman, qui se veut d'un paysage particulier, doit être un montage imaginaire baroque et apocryphe, de plusieurs souvenirs de paysages. Elle est presque fastidieuse, alors que la description du journal est dynamique" p.76

  • peut-on transposer cette opposition entre l'écriture romanesque et l'écriture du journal intime à la photographie vs la photographie de voyage? dynamisme de la photographie de voyage? immédiateté de la carte postale?

Projets photo[modifier | modifier le wikicode]