j2lajoie has written 6 posts for Rhetoric of the Digital Image

In Search of the Sisyphean Selfie

In his 1942 treatise The Myth of Sisyphus, noted French philosopher Albert Camus outlines his notion of the absurd, a concept which he would later develop most forcefully in his 1951 essay The Rebel. The absurd arises when man uses reason to understand an otherwise unreasonable world (unreasonable in that it cannot be reduced to a … Continue reading

The (Im)mobile Life of Digital Tourist Photographs: Summary

In ‘The (Im)mobile Life of Digital Photographs: the Case of Tourist Photography”, Jonas Larsen examines how digital cameras and digital methods of dissemination have radically altered photo-tourism. One of the central changes affected by this technologically motivated increase in speed is the photographer’s connection to his or her photographs. Unlike the delayed gratification offered by the development … Continue reading

“I’m So Hip it Hurts My Self-Image”

In 2013, Sarah Elizabeth Meyler filmed people at a club in Dublin under the pretense she was taking their photos instead. The resulting two minute video is entirely comprised of titivating and facial embellishments and the result, underscored by a jarring piano sonata, seems to derogate rather than celebrate this self-conscious tendency to preen for a camera. Their behaviour in the video–the strange … Continue reading

Summary of “Digital Cameras and Domestic Photography”

In “Digital cameras and domestic photography: communication, agency and structure” Cobley and Haeffner expand the debate on the nature of communication in digital domestic photography. Seeing the rise of digital as inevitable, and rather than accepting the status of a digital democracy as inherently utopian, they deem it a “potential”, “as part of quotidian attempts to … Continue reading

Surrealism as a Secret for Success

Given the striking correspondence in language between Amanda Fortini’s analysis of Kim Kardashian’s success (posted on Papermag.com) and the remarks Susan Sontag offers in On Photography regarding the inherent surrealism of photography, I want to consider whether the latter might refine the former. Per Fortini, Kardashian in person “seems amplified, tumescent”, her features made uncanny by … Continue reading

Mourning the Real through Photography: A Brief Summary of Sontag’s “Melancholy Objects”

“Essentially the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” –Susan Sontag, On Photography In “Melancholy Objects”, one of many essays featured in her 1977 collection On Photography, Sontag analyzes the photograph as a cultural and historic object to establish distinct ideological and ontological paradigms between American and European photography. Despite these aesthetic and philosophical distinctions across time and … Continue reading