Thick photography

Deger, Jennifer (2016) Thick photography. Journal of Material Culture, 21 (1). pp. 111-132.

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Across remote Aboriginal Australia, phone and tablet photographic technologies are giving rise to vibrant new forms of visual culture. Greenscreen software, montage and .gif effects enable the creation of layered images that literally pulse with meaning and affect. Akin to bark painting – yet deliberately different – such images reveal the spectral depth of Yolngu worlds. At a time when families across Arnhem Land face relentless loss and social stress, the making, sharing and viewing of elaborated family photographs reaffirm, reconstitute, and thicken a world of vitality, resonance and ancestral significance. Through deliberately posed and often highly postproduced photography Yolngu can creatively participate in a profoundly synaesthetic and sentient world, a world enlivened by uncanny encounter, a world that requires the ongoing affirmation and renewal of relationships through imagistic practice. This is a world of sensuous force and inside meanings, a world that far exceeds the registers of what the eye can see, the camera can capture, or, indeed, what the anthropologist will ever know.

Item ID: 44044
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-3586
Keywords: Aboriginal visual culture, anthropology of photography, digital aesthetics, digital materiality, indigenous media, light as material culture, photographic affect
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), University of Queensland Anthropology Museum, Arts NT, Gapuwiyak Culture and Arts Aboriginal Corporation
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 07:43
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 100%
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