Photographic Migrants: John Goto’s West End Blues
Treating Goto’s new images themselves as migrants--exotic, digital constructions uncomfortable in the land of “straight” art photography--the essay proposes that Flusser’s understanding of photography as projection, rather than record, offers a way of reconciling significant conflict in contemporary photography. Drawing on the writing of John Szarkowski to represent the “native” position, it argues that Goto’s “migrant” images bring the native’s strengths and limitations into focus. It draws on Flusser’s conviction about the migrant’s creativity to propose that an expanded understanding of “photography” does not damage or diminish any existing canon, and offers a structure in which the value of digitally
manipulated images can be considered in their rightful context, namely the entire history of photography.