Plattform fotografi
Plattform fotografi

Damian Sutton

Saturday 27 march 2010

Delay and the glimpse of immanence: urgent, intuitive and productive time.

This paper discusses how the merging of technologies and practices in contemporary art reveals the urgent time that exists within our everyday experiences, and which is only perceived, or glimpsed, by juxtaposition, repetition, equipoise and delay. The paper reflects on philosophies of time, particularly those of Bergson and Deleuze, that express this urgency as immanence - of past, present and future - within our common conception of the passing moment. It is this immanence that is revealed in the convergence of optical and digital technologies. Hannah Starkey’s staged photographs of women, for instance, suggest time that unfolds from awkward, banal moments. Wolfgang Staehle’s webcam installations present the flow of time through their insistence on the slow passage of landscapes, and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s photographs of cinema interiors, lit only by the screen’s reflection, express time’s continuity within our hurried, staccato experiences. David Claerbout’s installations of historical news images, overlaid with digital video loops, reveal the pressure of history that we impose upon time. These photographies of time present the same philosophy of time. The modern technological conquest of the instant, that gave rise to the snapshot and cinema, hid immanence from us; it is the convergence of old and new practices that allows a glimpse once more.

The paper discusses this glimpse of immanence and goes on to reflect upon the ways in which photography practice can intuit immanence through process and the act of photography. It will reveal a need to understand photography beyond representation, and to understand the ways in which the creative act in process allows for the material to pass into sensation.

Damian Sutton is Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies at The Glasgow School of Art, where he teaches on photography, cinema and new media. He received his MA from the University of Southampton and his PhD from the University of Glasgow. He has contributed to journals on photography, cinema and visual culture, is the co-editor of The State of the Real: Aesthetics in the Digital Age (I. B. Tauris/Palgrave, 2007) and is the author of Photography Cinema Memory: The Crystal Image of Time (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).