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As you prepare your research proposal...

Anne Dalke's picture are few more leads from Sheila, who reports that she thoroughly
enjoyed your responses to her questions and looks forward to working with us all.

She recommends an article by Alan Sekula entitled "The Body and The Archive"
as pertinent to this class; it's a historic piece about the evolution of surveillance photography in the 19th c.

She also sent us a link is to a Sentencing Project data sheet that is full of information:


Anne Dalke's picture

photography: a silence that silences
a “mute testimony” that “takes down”…and unmasks the disguises, the alibis, the excuses and multiple biographies [of prisoners]
the presumed denotative univocality of the legal image,
the multiplicity and presumed duplicity of the criminal voice
a system of representation capable of functioning both horrifically and repressively
criminal identification photos are designed literally to facilitate the arrest of their referent
refinement and rationalization of realism central to defining the criminal
two central issues of 19th c penal discourse:
distinguishing between incorrigible and pliant criminals,
and converting the reformable into ‘useful’ proletarians
camera integrated into bureaucratic-clerical-statistical system of ‘intelligence’
seeking standard physiological gauge of the criminal
problem of classifying massive, chaotic archive of images
to master the criminal body: massive campaign of inscription,
transforming body’s signs into text
biological vs. environmental factors; creation of composite photographs
eugenics: inspired, haunted by sense of social decline, exhaustion
Pierce’s indexical vs. symbolic signs (physical trace vs. general laws)
two poles of positivist attempts to regulate social deviance via photography:
embed photo in archive, archive in photo—history of social documentary photography, taking the police into account
(Lib of Congress bears 33 “ethnological heads”)
residue today, in national security state’s extensive surveillance,
and in renewed authority of biological determinism
cf. work of South African photographer who didn’t play into hands of police:
ambiguous visual documents