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apparently subject to better social control. Or do you trust your physician less because instead of an analog, two-dimensional x-ray he uses a digital, three-dimensional imaging method? Rather, certain manipulation procedures using specific software or other strategies even allow the ‹neutral› data produced by the imaging machine to be interpreted in the first place, bringing to light certain symptoms. In the end we are faced with a paradox: The greater resolution density, data volume and detail accuracy of digital photography stand in the way of a higher degree of abstraction and greater scope of variation.
In the confrontation of the various distinguishing characteristics of these areas it becomes clear that one rapidly becomes lost in a whirlpool of questions that cannot be fully answered or that cannot even really be compared. Offsetting and settling the advantages and disadvantages shows us only one thing for certain: one system is being replaced by another where certain questions shift but are not completely eliminated. Another kind of description creates another difference.
The variability of the digital affects not only
photography, but also text, the moving image or sound, and finally every form of digital communication. Information has come under particular pressure since it has become a commodity and thus of commercial, economic interest. From this we can conclude that we have no choice but to develop a special competence to adequately describe and decipher these production and interpretation processes. Measured against the necessity of interacting with the world with the aid of machines, the urgency of meticulously observing and describing these tools is in any case great. In a time of narcissistic concentration on one’s own reflection in the media it is important that the self-reflexive eye does not become blind and that the technologies function within the framework of a transparent test arrangement. More than ever, the degree of transparency, trust and skepticism constitute the changing basis for the reliability of the information, or whether one allows a ‹document› to be just that.
«Sources» (1993/95), the first group of works, deals