Delay: notes on photography as non-representational thinking

Sutton, Damian (2010) Delay: notes on photography as non-representational thinking. In: PhotoEspaña 2010 catalogue: time expanded. Mah, Sergio, ed. La Fabrica, Madrid, pp. 145-151. ISBN 9788492841325. [Book Section]


This essay is about delay - a delay highlighted by that new digital phenomenon of waiting for the camera to take a photography. This is a type of delay which has always been an essential component of photographic practice, and which is instrumental to the photographic image’s relationship to time.

The digital delay allows us to think about the natural delay in practice, and by this I mean the attuning of technology and mind to the photographic moment - the anticipation, intuition and tacit understanding of time, and even the production of time. The populist digital camera is asked by society to take certain types and kinds of photographs, and is therefore programmed to do so. It thinks about the photograph we are taking because we trust a visual culture industry to make particular decisions for us, and give limitations within which we must operate. To experience this as frustration is to expose the difference between these limitations and the ones we set ourselves as professionals and as artists, the practices that allow us to predict, expect and to provoke the event. I use delay to think intention without representation, to think photography without reflection. The phenomenon of the digital delay reminds us that there is, in the practice of photography, an attenuation of what Gilles Deleuze once called the cerebral interval, the gap between the perception and action. The photographic act is to open up perception, to wait for the expected, or unexpected, to happen; to allow oneself to become a receptor for movement and create the time in which it happens.

Item Type: Book Section
Keywords (uncontrolled): Photography; tacit knowledge; non-representational theory; Nigel Thrift
Research Areas: A. > School of Art and Design > Visual Arts > Visual Culture and Curating cluster
Item ID: 7265
Depositing User: Damian Sutton
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2011 10:24
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2017 15:35

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