The Lineage of Light

Photography has willingly lent itself to numerous fields — so many now that the more photography there is around us, the less we know what photography actually is. Given this dichotomy, it is time we reconsider the medium’s multiple faces. Vilém Flusser will, again, be of tremendous help here. He attempted to delineate the “consciousness of a pure information society,” and foresaw that the universe of technical images would bring forth a cultural revolution, one that is technical before it is political. It is now clearly evident that this somewhat dystopian vision has not been contradicted. Photography’s technological advances and growing number of uses hint at a future for the medium in a society on the verge of becoming predetermined by technology. This is Flusser’s vision of a “pure information society,” where some machines inform and shape human knowledge and others significantly augment human vision. This discourse aims to re-conceptualize the uses of contemporary scientific photography as artistic — or what Flusser called “informative.” It is our hope to call out new possibilities for photography as art, in conjunction with imaging technologies in fields like biology or physics, particularly astronomy. After all, photography has always been an expanding medium.