Distance is always also difference. The existential meaning of distance is the fact that we exist in the World as a difference. I am different to all other human beings due to my distance to them.
I am different to the World that surrounds me. It consists of stone, water, digital units, walls, viruses. I am not a wall or a virus. My agenda is of another kind. I perceive the World at a distance. Sometimes I wish to disappear in the World, sometimes am absorbed in it, but mostly not.
Naming a concept is also naming its opposite. Darkness names light. Part names whole. Distance gives name to closeness. (Or absorption?)
If I had no distance to whatever is “outside” of me, I would go insane. I need distance in order to sort out what is going on, and in order to decide how I can relate. To find sense, to give sense.
How is it to be a stone, an animal, a cloud?
I am senseless in the act of taking a photo. Taking a photo is for me one way to be absorbed. Absorbed, but not insane.
I am not the stone, I am not the cloud, the statue, or the mirroring in a window, that I take photos of. There is a distance. I try to get close, I get closer through the act of seeing.
I don’t take a photo because I wish to depict what I see. I wish to depict what I sense. I depict the senses. And I depict the nature of the imagery.
On a conceptual plane, I investigate the space where a relation to whatever I take photos of is generated. I perform a dialogue without words. I ask the image. I imagine the image. I eliminate the distance, the difference between me, the World, the image. I depict imagination, or one could say: what images do, how they behave, what they imagine. The act of making an image is an act where the creator is absorbed in the imagery.
The image does something to me by the fact of its difference to me. The distance, the photo as a picture, as an object or as a light on a screen represents, talks back to me. And to others. I can’t be sure of what they see. Others have other memories – they have lived, loved and dreamed other imaginary spaces. But some things are common to human beings. I have to believe that. Or else I would disappear into insanity.
The picture is also an in-between. Always this: distance, difference, closeness, absorption – inhabiting each other. Like when we meet each other in a conversation: the distance can be eliminated for a short moment. Is it a fact? Or a paradox?
For me a picture is a membrane as well as a network. I breathe through the image, I see through the image, I sense through the image. The interpretation – or what the image speaks about – is generated by a network of resemblances, differences, symbolic meanings, cultural references, perceptual effects.
An image is never alone. An image is part of other images.
How great can a distance between two images be before there is no sense? Non-sense? We intuitively look for resemblances. Things to recognize. Two or more images touch each other at a distance.
Formations of images construct blocks of percepts and affects, networks and paths of meaning and senselessness – like in a dream.
On a path one can go both ways – back and forth. Images create networks of paths to the World and allow the World to eliminate the distance it has to us.
In that way, the image is an actor, a ghost, a senseless, mad trickster. The image is dreaming us.
”Good sense told us that an act of resembling consisted in exhibiting the ideal and formal unity of two objects, two persons, or two separated material substrata; the dream-work, by contrast, provides Freud with an occasion to insist on the vector of contact, material and not formal (Berührung), that generates processes or paths of resemblance in dream imagery. To resemble no longer means, then, a settled state, but a process, an active figuration that, little by little or all of a sudden, makes two elements touch that previously were separated (or separated according to the order of discourse)” Didi-Hubermann, Georges (2005)
Didi-Hubermann, G. (2005) Confronting Images, University park, USA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, p. 150.