Tagg, J. A means of surveillance – The burden of representation.

Summary points:

  • “An ideology always exists in an apparatus, and its practice, or practices. This existence is material”.
  • Photographic practice began with the introduction of the police service to this country. Eventually allowing forces to become more efficient.
  • Identification photos
  • Began as headshots, however became full length, full face and profile at standard in 1938, improving photo quality.
  • More than just a photo – defines more of the criminal.
  • Photographs used as evidence is now standard in court.
  • As well as being used to record a great number of things in order to capture the reality of an event.
  • Not only has photography become a strong point here but also for other types of power eg. Hospitals, schools.
  • Dr Hugh Welch Diamond, ‘On the Application of Photography to Physiognomic and Mental Phenomena of Insanity’.
  • He thought clinical photography has 3 important functions: an aid to treatment, a permanent record and a means of rapid identification.
  • 1860s, photography introduced to schools – creating an album of both pupils and teachers.
  • Expanded further in 1870s with prisons setting up studios for photography. Photographic surveys conducted as well as introducing portraits in children’s homes.
  • John Barnardo, first photography department in the “Home for Destitude Lads”.  Created photographic records of children and these portraits were filed with their details and background. 1870s, created ‘before-and-after shots’ to show the improvement of the children.
  • The same style and pattern of photograph being produced in all different places demonstrate power.
  • Foucault does not focus on the negatives of power – power shows reality. He looks for the positives. He believes power produces knowledge.
  • “Power is not an institution, a structure, or a certain force with which certain people are endowed: it is the name given to a complex strategic situation in a given society.”
  • ‘The regime of truth’ (circular relation which truth has to the systems of power that produce and sustain it).
  • Photography used as evidence and its use in legal structure demonstrates its truth/reality.
  • Certain ways in which photographs should be composed and presented within crime.
  • Referencing behind an image.

~ by victoriasimkissphotography on January 22, 2013.

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