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Geoffrey Batchen

Geoffrey Batchen is Professor of the History of Photography and Contemporary Art at the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author of Burning with Desire: The Conceptions of Photography (1999) and Each Wild Idea: Writing, Photography, History (2002), both published by the MIT Press.

Titles by This Author

Writing, Photography, History

In Each Wild Idea, Geoffrey Batchen explores a wide range of photographic subjects, from the timing of the medium's invention to the various implications of cyberculture. Along the way, he reflects on contemporary art photography, the role of the vernacular in photography's history, and the Australianness of Australian photography.The essays all focus on a consideration of specific photographs -- from a humble combination of baby photos and bronzed booties to a masterwork by Alfred Stieglitz.

The Conception of Photography

In an 1828 letter to his partner, Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre wrote, "I am burning with desire to see your experiments from nature." In this book, Geoffrey Batchen analyzes the desire to photograph as it emerged within the philosophical and scientific milieus that preceded the actual invention of photography. Recent accounts of photography's identity tend to divide between the postmodern view that all identity is determined by context and a formalist effort to define the fundamental characteristics of photography as a medium.

Titles by This Editor

Reflections on Roland Barthes's Camera Lucida

Roland Barthes’s 1980 book Camera Lucida is perhaps the most influential book ever published on photography.