The Hunt Of Angels

I’m beginning to agree with David Brin; due to the relentless advance of surveillance technology, our expectations of privacy will be revised whether we like it or not, so we might as well be proactive about it.  What needs particular attention is the reluctance of corporations and governments to suffer the same scrutiny.  I myself have run afoul of Starbucks’s infamous ban on photography on their property, and while it didn’t quite rise to the level of a human rights violation, it’s absurd to maintain that my artistic ambit (such as it was) was outweighed by the putative threat to Starbucks’s "trade secrets."  In the ongoing struggle to determine what is "public space," it behooves would-be gargoyles to acquaint themselves with their rights.

At the same time, I cannot deny that, for me at least, there will always be an illicit thrill inherent in the act of photography.  Chris Marker put it thus:

Photography is like hunting, it’s the instinct of the hunt without the desire to kill.  It’s the hunt of angels . . . One stalks, aims, shoots and—click!  Rather than killing someone, one makes them eternal.

"Eternal," as in encased in amber; sounds to me like "assimilation" (aren’t we about due for a Godwin’s Law corollary for the Borg?).  Unquestionably, there is satisfaction to be gained from perfecting one’s craft, and I’ve been gratified by the reception others have given my work.  But in both the act and the appreciation of photography there remain the irreducible elements of voyeur and voleur.

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