Towards a Philosophy of Photography
Archival Inkjet Print, 14x21”,
Blackboxing describes technologies whose operations are made invisible by their own success. The more efficient a machine is, the less one has to focus on how it operates, only that its inputs and outputs are correct. To create this image, the artist photographed this camera, then ran the image through a program that displayed the hex key code photoshop uses to create the visual image. He then printed the code (44x90 inch print with 11 font) in its entirety and rephotographed the same camera in front of the printed code (re-boxing, if you will). The camera, the hardware used to render the image, the software used to manipulate it are all technically available for viewing, yet are so complexly interwoven and parsing them apart, so tediously time-consuming, that they become a series of black boxes.
“Apparatuses are black boxes that simulate thinking in the sense of a combinatory game using number-like symbols; at the same time, they mechanize this thinking in such a way that, in future, human beings will become less and less competent to deal with it and have to rely more and more on apparatuses.” p.32