Singular Images, Failed Copies: William Henry Fox Talbot And The Early Photograph by Vered MaimonSingular Images, Failed Copies: William Henry Fox Talbot And The Early Photograph by Vered Maimon

Singular Images, Failed Copies: William Henry Fox Talbot And The Early Photograph

byVered Maimon

Paperback | October 25, 2015

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Focusing on early nineteenth-century England?and on the works and texts of the inventor of paper photography, William Henry Fox Talbot?Singular Images, Failed Copies historicizes the conceptualization of photography in that era as part of a major historical change.

Treating photography not merely as a medium or a system of representation but also as an epistemology, Vered Maimon challenges today’s prevalent association of the early photograph with the camera obscura. Instead, she points to material, formal, and conceptual differences between those two types of images by considering the philosophical and aesthetic premises linked with early photography. Through this analysis she argues that the emphasis in Talbot’s accounts on the removal of the “artist’s hand” in favor of “the pencil of nature” did not mark a shift from manual to “mechanical” and more accurate or “objective” systems of representation.

In Singular Images, Failed Copies, Maimon shows that the perception of the photographic image in the 1830s and 1840s was in fact symptomatic of a crisis in the epistemological framework that had informed philosophical, scientific, and aesthetic thought for two centuries.


Vered Maimon is senior lecturer of art history at Tel Aviv University. She is coeditor of Communities of Sense: Rethinking Aesthetics and Politics.
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Title:Singular Images, Failed Copies: William Henry Fox Talbot And The Early PhotographFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:October 25, 2015Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816694729

ISBN - 13:9780816694723

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Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction: The Photographic Imagination
Part I
1. Method: The Engine of Knowledge
2. Imagination: The Art of Discovery
Part II
3. Time: Singular Images, Failed Copies
4. History: Displaced Origins and The Pencil of Nature
Acknowledgments
Appendixes
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

"Singualar Images, Failed Copies will take its rightful place as an important addition to the literature on both the history of early photography. . . and the espistemological changes of the early years of the nineteenth century."—Leonardo Reviews