Photographing Photography

Photography photographs itself. Or, to be more accurate, someone decides to photograph the moment just before or perhaps just after the taking of their own photograph. The image that results betrays that affectionate tension between a desired symmetry and the informality of friendship. She wears a purposeful hat, shading her face but also her identity. Now all that remains is this anonymous image, a virtual memory - not of this person (I know her not) but of the age of photography itself. Faced with its imminent erasure by the culture of the circuit board, this image remembers a time when friends photographed each other photographing each other, two mirrors each looking into the other and seeing only themselves. Now I look at it and see only the gathering and dispersal of electronic data, as ephemeral and malleable as memory itself.

submitted by Geoff Batchen
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
submitted February 1998

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