George Baker will write around the idea of thinking or theorizing “photographic relationality.” We think of photography, so often, in terms of what Rosalind Krauss called a “theory of gaps”: the photograph as an operation of visual isolation, framing, cropping, freezing an object as a motionless specimen. But the vaunted “doubling” in which photography has been involved is also the creation of a relationship; the photograph’s “indexical” tie to the world a bond or affective tie more than a simple technical effect, and one that still needs further thought and description. Touching upon specific photographs and photographers, pushing forward from the implications of select contemporary artistic practices engaged with photography, I want to think about the relational status and potential of photography over its longer history. I want to write a set of speculative entries on the photograph as an image-couple more than the photograph as image-double – theorizing photographic linkage over technological reproducibility as the central promise of photography today. A set of entries imagining an affective theory of photography, building upon thoughts on photography and love from Roland Barthes to Eduardo Cadava.
George Baker is a writer, curator, and co-editor of OCTOBER Magazine. He has written or edited books on photographers including Gerard Byrne (2003), James Coleman (2003), and is currently finishing a book stemming from his 2005 essay “Photography’s Expanded Field.” Focused on the work of four women artists—Zoe Leonard, Tacita Dean, Moyra Davey, and Sharon Lockhart—the forthcoming book will be entitled Lateness and Longing: On the Afterlife of Photography (University of Chicago Press, 2014). He teaches at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).