1First Contact

It could be said of photography what Hegel said of philosophy: “No other art, no other science is exposed to this ultimate degree of contempt based on the belief that one can take possession of them all at oncea” [BOU 65]

1.1. Toward a society of the image

To say that, over these last 30 years, a real revolution has taken the world of photography by storm and deeply modified the multiple technical, economic, industrial and societal aspects in which it develops would be an understatement.

From a technical perspective, the replacement of analog silver film by solid digital sensors, tentatively began 40 years ago, emulating a transition from analog to digital that is found in many other fields (the telephone, television, printing, etc.), could have certainly been no more than a significant progress, but in the end a natural one and of little impact for the user (is the user really conscious of the transition to digital terrestrial television or of the phototypesetting of newspapers?). However, it has profoundly modified the concept of photography itself, bringing forward several types of original devices; first, the point-and-shoot that fits in a pocket and that can be forgotten, then the mobile phone or the tablet, which the photographic industry would gladly repudiate as illegitimate and somewhat degenerate children if they did not hold the promise of an inexhaustible market.

The consequences of this technical mutation have proved to be devastating for the established ...

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