• The Aura of Materiality: Digital Surrogacy and the Preservation of Photographic Archives

    Author(s):
    Jasmine Burns (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Archives, Digital Art History, History of Art, Library & Information Science
    Subject(s):
    Archives, Digital archives, Photography
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    aura, Digitization, photo archives, Walter Benjamin
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6367S
    Abstract:
    Through a discussion of the materiality of photographic documents and the inherent qualities of digital objects, this article examines the viability of digitization as a method of archival photographic preservation. By exploring notions of surrogacy, originality, and aura, the author presents and deconstructs the popular argument that digital versions of material photographs preserve a representation of the object’s content rather than a reproduction of its material form. The process of digitization therefore brings forth a wholly new object into existence. The author’s argument against this common perception is that, rather than eliminating the material evidence of the object’s existence, the digitization of these materials and the subsequent dissemination of photographic surrogates enhances those material qualities that are not inherently represented in the digital object.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Pub. DOI:
    10.1086/691368
    Journal:
    Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America
    Volume:
    36
    Start Page:
    1
    End Page:
    8
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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