Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Photography as the Evidence
Ana Peraica
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
University of Rijeka
Thesis Supervisor
prof. Elvio Baccarini
Supervisor e-mail
ebaccarini AT
Other Supervisor(s)
Snjezana Prijic Samardzija
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
International Study of Philosophy and Modernity, Department of Philosophy
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found
Annotation, Denotation, Evidence, Existence, Frame, Index, Manipulation, Objectivity, Photo-camera, Photographer, Photographic truth, Photography, Photomontage, Punctum, Referent, Retouch, Studium, Transparency, Viewpoint
Abstract: 200-500 words
The dissertation Photography as the Evidence deals with scepticism and relativism introduced by media theories regarding evidentiary status of digital photography. It proves that similar or even the same type of material, having no capacity of being an evidence, existed previously, in the era of analogue photography, so no substantial or revolutionary change occurred with new, digital, technologies. This analysis is undertaken inside discourses of three realisms that emerged simultaneously with the invention of photography. These discourses are; pragmatism, positivism and historical realism. All of them are defining photography in terms of its evidence. These discourses allocate discussion on photography in different domains as; science, philosophy and political theory or political history. They claim that: (1) the photography can bring the knowledge or can at least serve as its tool (in terms of philosophical machine), (2) that photographic referent is necessary, not only possibly existing (thus; if something exists can be photographed), and that (3) the photograph can only serve to illustrate the vanished time. Still, each of these perspectives is partial, as excluding some other practical usage of photography as the medium. Obviously, as all of them are starting with the nearest definition of vernacular photography, or what is depicted as “normal” or “average” photography, they are producing a fallacy of incomplete induction. A new definition deriving possible photographs from the capacity of its medium, is introduced. Returning to the very start of the photographic process, to seemingly banal parameters as technological specificities, as well as to photographer’s choices made upon it, the dissertation is introducing new domains of interpretation. Introduction of the photographic agent into the discourse, namely, allows proceeding to the domain of photographic ethics, or even into wider domain of philosophy of politics, giving an overview of critical issues when photography is presented as evidence, in moral sense. Primary author is distinguished from the secondary one in regard to rules given in commission, bringing up notions of responsibility, as the only fact being provable, and that is – the photographer „has been there,“ which is coming important for repressive (political, military..) exploitations of photography, predominantly using photography as the evidence.