Susan Sontag "On Photography"

(I think I walked past this bookstore in SF this summer. Photo Credit: Temporary Transfer)
Thinking about this:
“A way of certifying experience, taking photographs is also a way of refusing it–by limiting experience to a search for the photogenic, by converting experience into an image, a souvenir. Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. The very activity of taking pictures is soothing, and assuages general feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel. Most tourists feel compelled to put the camera between themselves and whatever is remarkable that they encounter. Unsure of other responses, they take a picture. This gives shape to experience: stop, take a photograph, and move on. ….
“Photography has become one of the principal devices for experiencing something, for giving an appearance of participation. … While the others are passive, clearly alarmed spectators, having a camera has transformed one person into something active, a voyeur: only he has mastered the situation. … Taking photographs has set up a chronic voyeuristic relation to the world which levels the meaning of all events. …
“Photographing is essentially an act of non-intervention.”

2 thoughts on “Susan Sontag "On Photography"”

  1. I guess she died before finding out about facebook, or she would've changed that last paragraph to start with : Facebook has become one of the principal devices for experiencing something. . .ha!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s