Review: The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age by Sylvia Wolf


Book Reviews


It is fair to say that digital technologies have changed photography. What is less obvious - and much more interesting to explore - is what exactly these changes are or, even more interesting, which of these changes will have lasting impact and which ones will make us cringe - or maybe smile - in ten or twenty years. Sylvia Wolf’s The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age concerns itself with the former: Trying to survey the use of digital technologies in the contemporary fine-art context. (more)

The Digital Eye starts off with an introductory essay by Wolf, which sets the stage for the second part, digital images by a large variety of artists. The Digital Eye deserves credit for its breadth - as a survey of the use of digital technology in fine-art photography (or maybe we want to call it image making) the book is a valuable addition to any collection.

Unfortunately, the essay itself stays too close to the images. I wish it was longer, and I especially wish it dared to delve deeper into some of the topics at hand. I understand that it might be a bit early to do so. But in this year 2010 there are already some fault lines clearly visible, and the book would have benefited from outlining and exploring them.

While useful as a survey of how (or which) artists are using digital technologies to create their images, ultimately, The Digital Eye is a bit of a missed opportunity.

The Digital Eye: Photographic Art in the Electronic Age, essay by Sylvia Wolf, images by numerous artists, 192 pages, Prestel, 2010