Echographics of Television

‘Echographies of Television: Filmed interviews’ by Jacques Derrida and Bernard Stiegler

I have read a few things by Derrida and while they are insightful they are complex exploratory philosophy and you need to have a basic understanding of philosophy or have a commentary to get anything from it.

There are a few gems here especially in the last chapter by Stiegler which is about digital media. Most of the book is interviews of Derrida by Siegler which were filmed (hence the title) but which  never saw the light of day.


Artifactuality – P 41:  this concept emphasises that everything that appears ‘real’ is fabricated – of course it is.

‘The Discrete Image’ P145-164

This is the most interesting section as it talks about the evolution and role of analog and digital images

P147  The actual ‘image-object’ does not exist without the mental image.  “The objective lasts but the mental is emphemeral.” I think the idea is that it is the viewer and their experience that also shapes the object in the photograph.

He divides the evolution of photography from analog to analogical-digital to digital. The analogue image has the essential characteristic that it captures what is really there, but the digital image cannot be trusted to reflect that as it can be manipulated. Of course analogue images can be scanned in and digitally manipulated but he argues that it has a clearer relationship with the object photographed.  Digitisation of an image “breaks the chain” from the object by “binary calculation” which renders transmission (of the objective reality) uncertain.

How does this apply to my photography?  I am not sure, but it is clear that digitisation affects the indexicality of the photograph and sometimes that connection can be overt or slim.