Photographing eye changes the terms of confinement in the Platons cave, our world. In teaching us a new visual code, photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. They are a grammar and, even more importantly, an ethics of seeing. Finally, the most grandiose result of the photographic enterprise is to give us the sense that we can hold the whole world in our heads.
To photograph is to appropriate the thing photographed. It means putting oneself into a certain relation to the world that feels like knowledge and, therefore, like power.Photographic images provide the knowledge people have about the look of the past and the reach of the present.
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