Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Against indexicality : photography as a formation of thought
Author: Paz, Anita
ISNI:       0000 0004 7430 5085
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
Guided by the question of what does photography bring into being, 'Against Indexicality' is a proposition to rethink the foundation of the philosophy of photography - to rethink the supposed relation of truth between the photograph and the world. Taking Indexicality as a messy and convoluted conceptual field comprised of the notions of pointing, stillness, and fragmentation, this study works to untangle the three from each other, separately challenging each individual notion. In analysing each of the three through their conceptualisation by prominent thinkers, including Charles S. Peirce, Susan Sontag, Henri Bergson, Walter Benjamin, André Bazin, Rosalind Krauss, Jacques Derrida, and Roland Barthes, and examining them against and through examples of photographic images, this study points to the imprecisions, insufficiencies, and incompatibilities of Indexicality in relation to the photographic image and form. Undoing Indexicality as a field, this study resists Indexicality as a paradigm, proposing a new theoretical framework for photography: rather than looking at photographic images as truth bearers that can evidence the photographed, it proposes to look at photographic images as formations that form a thought out of the photographed. In that, this study works to remedy the Indexicality fever, or compulsion, which it identifies as the root cause of theoretical mess within the philosophy of photography. By evincing that Indexicality is a wrong, albeit necessary, solution to a problem that is to do with identifying the relation of the photograph to the world, it not only lifts photography out of a Procrustean bed in which it was never comfortable, but also allows for a new solution to develop. This solution is the theory of photo-poiesis: a move beyond the materiality and away from the referentiality of photography towards its being in the world and the thought that it forms and brings-forth - towards thinking.
Supervisor: Coombes, Justin ; Grootenboer, Hanneke Sponsor: Oxford-Dowding Scholarship for a DPhil in the humanities
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Philosophy of photography ; Art theory ; Philosophy ; phenomenology ; poiesis ; photography ; indexicality