I wonder then, what this new development in photographic technique signals. One brief reflection: It seems perhaps more than co-inicidental that this camera emerges alongside a broader preoccupation with the possibilities of post-hoc analysis of data. There seem uncanny similarities between the idea of a photograph whose subject matter can be manipulated at will by different users of the image, and the promise of open data which seems to offer a newfound freedom to the public as interrogators of multitudes of semi-processed information. Both work with the notion that technologies offer the potential to bring objects which lie at the peripheries of vision into sharp relief. Implicit is the idea that the capacity to focus on new objects will somehow revolutionise our relationship to power, reversing the role of the passive observer by transforming them into active participants in world making processes.

Hannah Knox of CRESC reflects on the new “light field camera”, the Lytro.

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