(edited by) Tomáš Dvořák and Jussi Parikka – Photography Off the Scale, Technologies and Theories of the Mass Image


Edinburgh University Press, ISBN-13: 978-1474478823, English, 298 pages, 2021, UK

This book is the result of an extensive research project carried out by the two editors at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). It is a magnificent selection of texts that addresses the complex and multifaceted role of photographs, especially in their seemingly unmanageable proliferation that we perceive mainly through online interfaces. The question of scale is central to the analysis. If we consider each photograph as a quantifiable record of space and time, we can navigate the many issues raised by the authors: from scientific analysis to popular and computerised imagery, to the inverse perspective of machine vision, as well as forensic approaches, the edges of photographic practise and the abysses of physical archives. The final chapter departs from the essay format, with an inspired asynchronous conversation between artist Joan Fontcuberta and art historian Geoffrey Batchen that appropriately concludes the preceding heterogeneity of perspectives. The book gathers a remarkable amount of specific knowledge and builds an infrastructural investigation that assembles a genealogy of photography as we experience it today. It is a multifaceted tool for thoroughly understanding the role of images in the 21st century as we continue to be endlessly exposed to them.