Vilém Flusser

Photographers wish to produce states of things that have never existed before; they pursue these stats, not out there in the world, since for them the world is only a pretext for the states of things that are to be produced, but amongst the possibilities contained within the camera’s program. To this extent the traditional distinction between realism and idealism is overturned in the case of photography: It is not the world out there that is real, nor is the concept within the camera’s program – only the photograph is real.

Vilém Flusser



Thomas Annan: The Old Closes & Streets of Glasgow (1900)

Thomas Annan (1829–1887) was a Scottish photographer, notable for being the first to record the housing conditions of the poor. After his initial apprenticeship to a lithographer in Cupar he moved to Glasgow and, after gaining the patent rights to the photogravure process, established himself in a photographic studio in Sauchiehall Street during 1857. First interested largely in architectural photography and then portraits, in 1866 Annan was commissioned by the Glasgow City Improvement Trust to photograph slum areas. It was this series of photographs, entitled the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow, that ensured his prosperity.

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