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What you are looking at now is not just the surface of PC/mobile. There is one more expression for that. It is the result of the complex interaction of light, eyes and brain.
You are able to see because light reflected from an object A can move through space, reach our crystalline lens and retina and then the optic nerve transmit to brain. In other words, you can regard the light reaching your eyes as that elementary particles of light once “touched” the object A.
I have called this process “Physical Linkage”.
Thus, what you see is light that once “touched” the surface of PC/mobile, yet there is not much point in gaining “Physical” linkage with the surface of your PC/mobile.
So, look around. Look at something you love, someone you love, someone you have fallen...in love with. Now you have got elementary particles of light that “touched” him/her in your eyes.
But if you looked at a digital photo of your precious thing, your wife/husband or girl/boyfriend, I am afraid that you have just got elementary particles of light that touched the surface of PC/mobile.
To put it simply, a digital photograph is just a series of 1s and 0s. A digital camera converts optical images into electronic signals. There is no such photons that once touched an object.
So let’s take photographs by not only a digital camera but also a film camera or traditional photographic processes such as Daguerreotype and Collodion process. The crystalline lens is compared to a camera lens and the retina is compared to a film sheet, a glass or a silver plate. If you take a photo by those traditional photographic process, you can preserve elementary particles of light that once “touched” what you want to preserve.
Every visible object can be preserved with a “physical linkage”.
Written in the Winter of 2013
- Oblivion Terror -
All living things leave offsprings. This is the principle of all living things. We are so fragile that we hope to leave offspring as a trace of self. However, only human beings have another factor why to do so, which is ego. Our ego resist from fading into “oblivion”.
Neanderthal man would have made a practice of burial in this fear of oblivion. At the same time of acquiring a good memory skill, they encountered the fear of fading memories. Since this encounter, our ego are resisting “Oblivion Terror”.
Human beings had always tried to leave a trace of self in various means. And I believe that this tide constituted the source of photography. Thus, the invention of photography was an outcome of the instinct to leave a trace of self and our ego resisting from fading into oblivion.
When the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred, most people lost everything and were desperate to find their photographs. Many victims of the earthquake began to wash the mud out of their retrieved photographs.
I believe that this is the true power of photography. Photography assures the referent's existence, which in this case would mean that their live's consistency would be assured.
“Consistency” is substances gathering together. Each substance corresponds to an experience. Experiences can never be memories until something is suggestive of the experience, bringing it back into one’s consciousness.
Thus, when people lose their photographs, people cannot help but regard this as losing the referent itself. Human beings recognise an experience A as a memory after “experiencing” the experience A. Photographs can be suggestive. Experiencing the past presence in a photograph is the essential feature of photography, which strengthens life’s consistency.
In other words, photography is “Oblivion Terror Management”.
Written in the Spring of 2015