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Tracing Shadows: The “analogue” and  the indexical sign-status of the photographic object
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This essay looks at the way the photograph functions as a sign, and how an interest in analogue technique and related sensitivities can be analysed and understood in selected works by Maria Miesenberger, Lotta Antonsson, Vera Lutter, Joachim Koester, Walid Raad, Simon Starling and Tacita Dean. A number of thematic, technical and conceptual interests and sensitivities are approached under the term “analogue”, in order to differentiate the “analogue” as a sign-function from the analogue as mere technique.  Using Charles Sanders Peirce's semiotic system as a base, it is the indexical aspect of the photographic sign that appears to be highlighted and separated from the other sign-functions in the examples used. The notion of the photograph as indexical is looked at in the light of Susan Sontag's and Roland Barthes' writing on the subject where terms like 'death mask', 'foot print', 'stencil', or 'umbilical chord' are indications of a direct link between the photographic image and the object or person depicted. The “analogue” as focus on a unique photographic object is discussed, as well as how this relates to the notion of 'aura'. The material and temporal aspects of the trace make it particularly useful as a medium to explore themes such as memory, loss, identity, time, death and history. The essay argues that the key characteristics of the “analogue” is a concern with the indexical, often not deliberately explored by the artists but observable nonetheless. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 64 p.
National Category
Art History
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-18402OAI: diva2:603925
Subject / course
Art History
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2013-02-07 Created: 2013-02-07 Last updated: 2013-02-07Bibliographically approved

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