As an extension of the eye, the camera writes the light according to its own inhuman, mechanical terms. The photographic ability to describe the world objectively not only renders indistinguishable the perceptible and the imperceptible but also makes visible the hidden commerce of things across the depths of perception. By considering a set of photographs, this essay demonstrates how the visible world captured by the camera helps reveal what may be called the baroque order of things—a paradise in which things seen and unseen fold and unfold in universal harmony.
Seeing Goddess in Typhoons
briankle g. chang is an associate professor of communication at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the author of Deconstructing Communication: Subject, Representation, and Economies of Exchange (University of Minnesota Press, 1996) and the coeditor of Philosophy of Communication (MIT Press, 2012). His recent publications include “Benjamin’s Travel,” which appears in a special issue of Positions he edited on Walter Benjamin.