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Themesicon: navigation pathPhoto/Byteicon: navigation pathDocument and Abstraction

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framework of this presentation it was completely irrelevant whether the images shown were of an analog or digital nature.)

A possible ‹residual value› of today’s photography—where possible transmission capacities of the medium are concerned—has developed further: The unique fusion of image and reference—the essential distinguishing characteristic of the photographic medium consisted in this ‹authenticity›—may continue to occur in the production of the digital image, but this distinguishing characteristic is only applicable under more restricted, significantly more fragile conditions. A form of image in which every single pixel can be altered stands in a different and more abstract relation to what is being depicted than a medium whose every film grain is much more stable; the complete relativity of a single pixel is a new quality and enables penetrating deeper into the images.

The social agreement is apparently one of giving preference to digital photography, and this is being fiercely discussed in photographic and media theory, often marked by melancholic separation difficulties. When the end of photography is talked about, one is


reminded of the similar discussions in the field of painting. Or when analog photography is regarded as a subtractive medium (as does Baudrillard), and in contrast the digital variant is viewed as an additive one, like the medium of painting. Comparisons of this kind are very reduced if one considers the large number of variables in the analog photographic process and the many ways in which photography is used that are not distinguished by subtractive methods alone, and if in the digital process one obviously always starts out from the assumption that the possibility of the variation and addition of the data record is a necessary and unavoidable sign of the digital working method. In other areas, such as science, for instance, one has long since begun taking advantage of the possibilities offered by the new digital technologies in the fields of diagnostics, reconstruction or simulation, and surprisingly, the ability to manipulate the image results has not been given much priority. In medicine and archeology, to cite two examples, a high degree of trust is given to these technologies, above all, I believe, because the processes of image acquisition, interpretation and distribution are closer together and

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