Faculty Activities: John Tagg in (Post) Fotografisches archivieren. Wandel––Macht––Geschichte


Distinguished Professor John Taggs essay, “Everything and Nothing: Meaning, Sense and Execution in the Archive,” has recently appeared in a new collection, (Post) Fotografisches archivieren. Wandel––Macht––Geschichteedited by Victoria von Flemming, Daniel Berndt and Yvonne Bialek, and published by Jonas Verlag. The book is the second volume in a series of publications by “Das fotografische Dispositiv” at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Germany. Tagg’s essay  revisits the question of power and meaning in the photograph. It insists that if there is such a relationship, it has to be understood not on the basis of some presence in the photograph (or the photograph itself as presence), but rather on the unwelcome ground of the encounter with utter absence out of which the power effects of photography will be made to arrive. And yet, for the imaging systems that have saturated and remade social space, it may no longer be a question of sense or meaning at all for the camera image to do its work. The weaponized image, above all, is now in itself the trigger and if meaning never arrives, the payload always does.

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