• PUNCTUM / STUDIUM – Punctum is an object or image that jumps out at the viewer within a photograph- ‘that accident which pricks, bruises me.’ Punctum can exist alongside studium, but disturbs it, creating an ‘element which rises from the scene’ and unintentionally fills the whole image. Punctum is the rare detail that attracts you to an image, Barthes says ‘its mere presence changes my reading, that I am looking at a new photograph, marked in my eyes with a higher value.’ WHEREAS studium is ultimately coded, the punctum is not which I feel relates to how the interest in studium is often in the deconstruction of the image, whereas for punctum it is that point of impact, which may have meaning but was not originally hidden within the images meaning. Punctum retains an ‘aberrant’ quality. Barthes himself says ‘what I can name cannot really prick me’, the inability to name is a good system of disturbance and punctum.


  • DENOTATION / – The literal face-value meaning of a sign. CONNOTATION / – all the social, cultural and historical meanings that are added to a signs face-value meaning


  • ‘semiotic study of meaning – give UP on science of culture -> free yourself from dominant meaning – after we lose the need for science we will find the WANT for intimacy and emotion


  • Pleasure of text // 1970 – 1980


  • What is the essence of photography? the essence is ONE photograph


  • Image emanates real itself


  • Augustus Salzmann, Ferdinand de Saussure, Walker Evans, Craig Owen


  • 1850 Beith – lehem, 1936 – Bethlehem


  • The meaning is culturally imported – it carries no message. Society carries the meaning


  • The narrative is always anticipating its own end


  • Rather than melody… texture of sound


  • Fossils are interesting to photograph – why? – you could say that fossils are the very first form of photography. They are no the actual object, they are an impression that documents and object that we can no longer see in life

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