6 thoughts on “On Speed and Relevance”

  1. Hi Alex, just wanted to say it’s really great to see someone engaging with one of my pieces like this, a nice start to the day!

    Think I should say though that I didn’t suggest in the piece that this pursuit of speed devalues photography as such, rather it may just challenge the way we understand photography, in the same way that photography has traditionally challenged the way we understand the things we turn the camera on.

    Also although I think the contrast you make between the speed of capture and the immortality of the resulting image is an interesting one, it has to be tempered by the recognition that photographs are actually very fragile, never moreso than now they exist as digital files. I talk about this a little in this piece: http://www.disphotic.lewisbush.com/2013/11/11/war-photography-memory/

    The Google relevance point is also a very interesting subject, again one I’ve explored a little, the potential for the way search engines sometimes ‘misunderstand’ search criteria to distort the ways we perceive the world: http://www.disphotic.lewisbush.com/2013/02/04/engines-of-doubt-digital-archives/

    Best wishes,


    1. Yes Lewis, all agreed. Its funny. On reading both the articles you pointed me too I detected a thread; the disconnect from intention and purpose in photography. For example you discuss the latent, extended (or diminishing power) of a First World War photograph in literal and figurative terms and the subvert able ‘reasoning’ of search engines. In both there is the difference between intent (if such exists) and real-world usage.

  2. Very thought provoking Alex Lewis and Derrick.

    A couple of music related observations and an Attenborough memory for your consideration:

    A surprising tolerance of inferior sound quality in return for portable instant wireless bluetooth access to ALL the world’s sounds and music . The size of the record collection is apparently more important than what you do with it.

    The apparent disappearance of the demand for sleeve notes: no time to read the story when the next track – any track from anywhere (except Thom’s) – can be queued up in a second.

    The seabirds who attempt to feed on infant turtles making their dash across the sand, but end up hungry because the choice is too great and their memory too short: The moment they have one in their beak they spot another.

    Here’s to images, sounds and turtles.
    Happy new year all.

    1. I love the analogy of the turtles, Tom. This is a perfect way to describe the surfeit of material we need to deal with every day. Perhaps we don’t even know we’re hungry anymore.

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