Ochi Reyes

She Dreamt...

She dreamt that she was obsolete, that photography as she had known it had died, and that the referent had disappeared. The history of the photographic canon passed in front of her eyes in a series of uncanny visions, proliferating on a computer screen, deforming as they passed through endless variations, none of which brought her the old and trusted reassurance of authorship, authority and unadulterated subjecthood. The world was falling apart.

All of these terms through which the photographic image had been thrust upon her – a trace, an index, an icon, a metaphor, a symbol, a mechanical reproduction – vanished in the depths of data streams ruled by algorithms, datasets of images, zeros and ones, taking on a life of their own.

Who is the Subject when the person never existed? Which is the copy of the copy of the copy of the copy? Has humanity’s self-alienation reached such a degree that it can accept its own destruction as a mere by-product of algorithmic thinking? Have we finally found the Real? Has the pill turned purple? Where is the mise-en-abyme when all we have is the abyss?