Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Unstoppable Development"

Kaja Silverman's talk last night was from the second chapter of her upcoming book The Miracle of Analogy, to be published in February, 2015 by Stanford University Press. The title of her talk was "Unstoppable Development".

As one might expect with a second chapter, the talk was less an introduction to the propositional content of her book than a series of descriptions in support of its assertions (that the world has always known photography, even before its invention).

As such, Silverman began by taking us back to our first "photograph": Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras (1826 or 27). From there she pressed forward, through Daguerre and Fox Talbot, all the while returning to Niépce's picture in language both lush and inspiring.

Like Lucy Lippard, Silverman is seamless in her presentation of her writings and the writings of others, so much so that at times I lost track of who said what.

Looking through my notes this morning, I noticed a number of unattributed quotes.

"Objects moving are not impressed."

"Nature in motion is not represented."

"Every disclosure is a concealment."

"…until photography was chemically stabilized."

"When the houses are finished the trees are not."

"Vacillating objects made indistinct pictures."

"Faded before the eyes of the nations assembled."

"Drawn with the pencil of Nature."

"Archival noise."

"The human psyche is another place where the photographic image develops."

Let's see what happens when I feed these lines to Google.

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