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same—the equipment, practices and symbols in circulation are too heterogeneous. While since the 1980s the majority of theoretical considerations with regard to digital photography concerned image processing, the following will deal with electronic signal storage, i.e., not with the implications of image manipulation with the aid of computer technology, but with a more or less private photographic practice that uses digital cameras and/or stores photographs in digital distribution media. In this field, the notion of photographic authenticity is consistent; even more, due to the instantaneousness with which photographs can be taken and displayed under electronic conditions, it seems to have gained appeal. Disregarding some of the premature decisions with regard to the effects of the «digital revolution,» i.e., that photographic images will largely lose their reference to reality, [4] immediacy and true-to-lifeness also remain central criteria for the image recorded on a chip or circulating in the Internet. Thus it is about constituting an object of research to begin with; an object which is found in popular culture and which disassociates itself from a discourse among masters of


photography, a discourse that has begun to dig its own grave.


The year 2004 was not only the year in which—due to the proliferation of lowcost and user-friendly cameras—the photography industry recorded a sales boom. It was also the year of the death of three of the so-called master photographs who had devoted themselves to the aesthetic and technical refinements of analog photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton. For the publicist Claus Heinrich Meyer, Avedon’s death also marked the death of a photographic era: «[T]he twenty-first century will not produce such personalities, such minds, such ‹still› images.» He was referring to Avedon’s knowledge of aesthetics and to his personality as well as that of the people of whom he made large-format portraits. Who populates the world now? Models? Role players? [Refer to the podium discussion with Isabell Heimerdinger: Media Reality and Authentic Expression.] In his discussion of Cartier-Bresson’s retrospective in Berlin’s Martin-Gropiusbau, Gustav Seibt also detects the end

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