Tuesday, January 27, 2009


First post - a reprise of yesterday's Facebook posting - and this is the point at which I discover that one can't cut and paste text from FB into Blogspot.   At least, it would seem not.   So I'm going to add that as a comment, and trust that normal service will begin later this evening (phraseology that sounds as though I've been corrupted by airport-speak...).


  1. This photo is a bookend: if the very blue view of Manchester Airport the other day represented arrival, this clearer, harder, more silver vision is the color and angularity of departure. Or, to put it another way, I've been puzzling over the distinction between "subject matter" and "subject" that has come up in the reading (more Barrett) that we're doing for class tomorrow. If the "subject matter" for this image is the walkway leading into Terminal 2 of Manchester Airport, the subject is...what? The same thing? An abstraction, like "modernity," or something more descriptive without giving definite names (a waffly phrase like "traveling through emptiness"?). If the subject might be "departure," how would anyone know what *kind* of departure (especially if the photographer labels the image "Manchester airport - again") - I could push my luck, and say that the voyaging might seem to be into a shiny, bright infinity. And where does one deposit questions of style when one's dealing with distinctions between subject matter and subjects? At one (formal) level, the subject here is convergence.

    Where this is pushing towards, I think, is asking whether one always can, or should, try an extract a significance beyond a description of "subject matter" from an image. Yes, is my intellectual gut reaction, but when faced with making distinctions between the two terms in relation to a picture that one's taken oneself (without any intention other than searching out symmetry with my arrival three days ago - yet facing the other direction, and in daylight, not pre-dawn), I'm brought up sharp against one of the topics for tomorrow's class: how *does* one write about a photograph? And that, after all, is the the central issue/problem that I'm addressing in all these notes.

  2. and this should have been labeled 26/365/09... ah well...