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Exploration, Survey and Landscape Photography .docx

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Jordan Bear

Exploration, Survey, and Landscape Photography February 14, 2013 • Ideas of immediacy and closeness, and the formal measures in which this is articulated • European photographers that visit the Middle East, and then North America Being There • A photograph of a distant local which very few people will have visit, as a proxy for being there • The idea of its equivalence, how photography might replicate a journey • Francis frith: curse the man sitting quietly at home in London or New York may write even a book of travel ...without the cost and labour of travelling • With the thermometer at 110 degrees in my tent, the collodion actually billed when poured upon the glass plate ...for there is no effectual substitute for actual travel • Photography can provide a replacement for a physical journey, but the journal takes an kind of physical endurance that one does not need to look at a photo • Frith, Egypt and Palestine photographed and described (1858) • Sculptures from the outer wall, dendera, 1858: hieroglyphs on a wall, meant to transmit information, a set of forms adorn this wall, means of communication • Signature of the photographer on the lower left, why would he camouflage it? Asserting the fact that he was there, signed the negative to make it look like he has chiseled his name into the wall he has photographed • Drawing a parallel between the surface of is photograph and the space he is representing • Frith himself actually traveled there, making a point that he actually traveled there, the quality of having been there is important • Frith, crocodile on sandbank, 1857: on the banks of the Nile, signature again on the lower left, just visible, wrote his name to look like it was traced in the sand • There must be in a genuine travel photography, a physical parallel of where the photographer was placed • Maxime Du Camp, westernmost colossus of the temple of re, 1850: also the result of a journey undertaken by a photography, went with his friend to record travelling to Egypt • The head of a colossus with a man on top, his guide, the person he employed to take him through Egypt • He provides us a sense of scale, also to denote the presence of du camp at the scene, hired by him and placed at the scene, almost as of he has conquered the colossus of ancient Egypt • Colossus of Memnon, 1850: relentless frontality, object always in the centre and front, transmission of info that will be useful for people studying ancient Egypt • Part of a book he made, with text and photographs • John Beasley Greene, medient-Habu, 1854: he was an archeologist, he was responsible for physical cleaning and polishing these inscriptions, this is the transmission of data • Dakkeh, 1853: does not transmit any information, eliminated by the shadow, and emerging sensibility of travel views that has less to do with data and more to do with what the place is like, mysteries of illegibility, close to us but yet so far away • Greene, Nile in front of the Theban Hills, 1853: doesn't provide any useful data, and not uniqueness of being there, Greene is clearly after something else • Barren landscape, almost a evaporates in the distance Imperial and Empirical Photography • Displeasure with the French presence in Egypt • Desire Charnay, 1863: in the years just before maximillians execution, pictures like this are produced • Ruins of a city, combination of man made and natural, nature taking back its space • Cortez planted a tree, this photo shows the conquest into the 19th century, through the introduction of European technology that something could be taken care of • Charnay: "it was France's duty to rouse Mexico from its numbness Mapping, prospecting, composing: Timothy O'Sullivan • He is an employee of the government, not looking to expand an imperial footprint, but a footprint of the American west • Expansion of America as a middle power to the rulers of the western world, power from making it mappable • O'Sullivan, fissure vent at steamboat springs, 1867: people in the east would not be familiar with this, what do we do with photographs that began life not as aesthetic objects, but as government survey • Not for the walls of a museum, but for a set of political goals • Crack in the surface of the earth with hot springs underneath, strangely barren world, something of geological importance, shows the geological composition of the land • Uses the smoke to partially conceal a human figure, trying to show a landscape unlike his patrons have ever seen, figure is there to say that it is a place where humans can live • O'Sullivan, T
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