The Zone of Photography: Magic, Ghosts and Haecceity

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Photography evidences presence, but what does it present? This article explores the notion of magic in photography through Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of ‘haecceity’, Jacques Derrida’s logic of the ‘supplement’ and Jean-François Lyotard’s ‘inhuman’. The sections ‘The Zone of Photography’, ‘Ghosts in/of the Machine’, ‘The Crypt and Encryption’, ‘Affect-Event-Haecceity’ and ‘Magic, Consumerism, Desire’ consider how photography provides a ‘zone’ that encrypts the desires of its photographer and viewer. A photograph, in its various forms and appearances, from scientific instrument to personal documentation, bears our need and desire to be affected. The photographic zone can connect with the anxiety, fear, grief, and ha ppiness that are latent within the irrationality of its viewer. The photography is never past as it continually unfolds into, and is entangled with, the fabric of the present. Through consideration of photography we will consider how magic does not happen to people but people happen to magic. We desire magic to appear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jul 2023

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