I am a Ph.D. researcher in the department specialising in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. My thesis has two overarching aims. The first of these is to present a reformulated version of the “photographic event”. In both “orthodox” and “new” theories of photography, the photographic event is presented as a moment wherein data about a scene is recorded when a camera’s photosensitive surface is exposed to that scene. I believe this presentation of the photographic event, which focuses solely on recording, misses the role the agency of the photographer can play in the event. Thus, I seek to recast the event in a way that properly accounts for how photographers can exercise their agency within it. The second goal of my thesis is to show what consequences this reworking of the photographic event has for our understanding for three elements of photographic practice. The first of these is aesthetic. By demonstrating that the photographic event does involve artistic agency, it is possible to dispel philosophical arguments which hold that there is minimal to no artistic value to photography as it is supposedly an agentless medium. The second consequence is ethical. I argue that photographers’ intentional control over the photographic event gives them a greater insight into it than that of their subjects. Thus, they have a greater responsibility to honour the trust placed in them by their subjects to represent them in a desirable manner. The final consequence is evaluative with regard to contemporary photographic practice. So-called “videogame photography”, screenshots of 3D virtual environments, have become more commonplace in photographic exhibitions and publications. Using my understanding of the photographic event, I argue that this is a mischaracterisation, as these works do not allow for the same exercise of agency which I argue is co-constitutive of the photographic event. However, they may nevertheless belong to the photographic, where this is understood in terms of the visual, technical, and aesthetic conventions that surround photography.
- Forthcoming. "Wilson's Multi-stage Account and the Dilemma of Videogame Photography", Debates in Aesthetics.
Talks and Conference Presentations
- October 2023: Videogame Photography Returns: Photography and the Photographic. Philosophy Department Work in Progress Seminar, University of Warwick.
- October 2023: Collaboration and Trust in Photography. 2023 British Postgraduate Philosophy Association Conference, University of York.
- October 2023: Photographic Style and Photographic Subjects in Sebastião Salgado’s Images of the Developing World. M4C Research Festival 2023, Birmingham.
- September 2023: Collaboration and Trust in Photography. 2023 Postgraduate Welcome Conference, University of Warick.
- June 2023: Understanding the Relation of Action and Knowledge in Flusser’s Theory of Photography. 2023 ESA Conference, Budapest.
- June 2023: Photographic Style and Photographic Subjects in Sebastião Salgado’s Images of the Developing World. Philosophy and Race Research Celebration, University of Warwick.
- May 2023: Intention, Knowledge, and Embodied Action in Schneider’s Photographic Performance. 8th BSA Postgradaute Conference: Aesthetics and the Body, University of Kent.
- May 2023: Understanding the Relationship between Knolwedge and Action in Flusser's Theory of Photography. Philosophy Department Work in Progress Seminar, University of Warwick.
- January 2023: Workshop on Debates in Aesthetics Photography Special Issue. Philosophy and Photography Lab. [Invited]
- November 2022: Between Anscombe and Flusser: Inside the 'Black Box' of Photography. World Philosophy Day Talk, University of Hull. [Invited]
- October 2022: The New Theory of Photography and the Dilemma of Videogame Imagery. Philosophy Department Work in Progress Seminar, University of Warwick.