Monday, April 14, 2003

PHOTOBLOGS: I’ve been wondering how photographic photoblogs are. Photography has three obvious genealogical strands: art photography, photojournalism, and popular or vernacular photography (snapshots, etc.)—with all the interesting stuff (and maybe ALL the stuff) probably happening in between. These genealogies contain the ways we know how to think about photographs; they form the grounds for making sense of them (from what they depict to what they mean, culturally, emotionally, etc.). But in talking to photobloggers and trying to write about photoblogs, I’ve found these historical precedents misleading: what they seem to be about isn’t what photoblogs seem to be about. Which makes me wonder whether “photographs” isn’t the wrong word for what photoblogs display and “photography” isn’t the wrong word for what photoblogs do, in the sense that the words “photograph” and “photography” contain our analytics for thinking about what photographs are and how they operate. What I’m looking for, ultimately, are better ways, clearer ways to think about photoblogs, on their own terms (not the terms of historical photographic practice).