Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography
Product details:

No. of pages:328 pages
Size:229x152 mm
Weight:726 g
Illustrations: 55 illustrations, including 32 in color

Camera Geologica

An Elemental History of Photography
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Date of Publication:
Number of Volumes: Cloth over boards
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GBP 97.00
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Short description:

From rare-metal mining to environmental photography, Siobhan Angus tells the history of photography from a materialist perspective of the minerals extractive practices upon which the medium depends.

Long description:
In Camera Geologica Siobhan Angus tells the history of photography through the minerals upon which the medium depends. Challenging the emphasis on immateriality in discourses on photography, Angus focuses on the inextricable links between image-making and resource extraction, revealing how the mining of bitumen, silver, platinum, iron, uranium, and rare earth elements is a precondition of photography. Photography, Angus contends, begins underground and, in photographs of mines and mining, frequently returns there. Through a materials-driven analysis of visual culture, she illustrates histories of colonization, labor, and environmental degradation to expose the ways in which photography is enmeshed within and enables global extractive capitalism. Angus places nineteenth-century photography in dialogue with digital photography and its own entangled economies of extraction, demonstrating the importance of understanding photography’s complicity in the economic, geopolitical, and social systems that order the world.

“A major intervention in the study of materiality, Camera Geologica explains how an understanding of photography’s reliance on mineral extraction can provide fascinating and revelatory insights into the sociopolitical realm of a medium that profoundly shapes people’s sense of their world.”
Table of Contents:
List of Illustrations  vii
Acknowledgments  xi
Introduction  1
1. Bitumen and a Reorientation of Vision  30
2. Silver and Scale  67
3. Platinum and Atmosphere  106
4. Iron and Unstable Boundaries  132
5. Uranium and Photography beyond Vision  164
6. Rare Earth Elements and De/Materialization  196
Conclusion. All That Is Solid Melts into Air  22
Notes  231
Bibliography  263
Index  293