ART.ZIP: Your background is Art History, and then further study photography, is it? Why photography is so special for you?
BR: When I began my academic career in Australia in the 1970s, there were no places to study the history or theory of photography – even when I arrived in Britain to do my MA at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 1980, I still was not able to focus on photography; it is really only in the last decade that the academic study of photography as part of art history has become available as an option for students. Photography has been very special to me since my adolescence. As I grew up in Australia I felt the importance of the medium as a carrier of meaning perhaps more acutely because of the tyranny of distance.
BR:20世紀70年代的時候我在澳大利亞開展我的學術研究,當時並沒有任何院校能提供攝影史 或攝影理論這樣的相關學科,即使到了80年代,我在英國考陶德藝術學院讀碩士的時候也沒有, 所以在當時的環境下我還沒有途徑專門研究攝影;直到過去十年,攝影才成為藝術史的一部分被 納入學術課程。從少年時起我就覺得攝影很特別,可能因為我在澳大利亞長大,那種距離的束縛 讓我特別能夠理解攝影作為意義載體的重要性。
ART.ZIP: Camera nowadays is much more affordable than the past, everyone could take pictures, what would you say photography’s effect on mass culture? Good ones and bad ones?
BR: The evolution of the camera phone which has led to everyone believing they are a photographer has had positive as well as negative outcomes – clearly the fact that photography has become democratized so that nearly everyone has access to a camera (rather than a small elite who previously could afford the expensive cameras and cost of printing) is a good thing. It enables people to develop their visual awareness of the world and experiment in interesting ways in the production of images. On the other hand, it has also resulted in a tsunami of images which are never going to be stored, saved properly or printed. Some critics feel that this surfeit of images neutralizes their visual impact and emotional force and leads to compassion fatigue. There is no doubt that the impact of the network image and web 2.0 has led to a reassessment of the way in which personal subjectivity may be changing as a result of participation in the global image economy and what level and kind of engagement now constitute its value and meaning.
BR:拍照手機的出現讓所有人都認為自己就是攝影師,這樣有積極的一面但也不能排除消極的影響 。首 先 很 明 顯 的 ,攝 影 變 得 民 主 化 了 ,幾 乎 所 有 人 都可以擁有一台相機–而不像以前那樣只有一 小部分的精英才能負擔得起昂貴的相機和沖洗照 片–這是好的方面。這有助於人們發展視覺上對 世界的認知,利用各種有趣的方式來製作圖像。但 另一方面,這種海量的圖像沖擊導致照片沒有被合 理地保存,保管或沖洗。有些評論家認為這種過量 的圖片生產減弱了它們應有的視覺和情感沖擊,最 終導致人們視覺疲勞和熱情不再。不可質疑的是, 網絡圖像的影響和WEB2.0時代讓我們不得不重新評估個人主體性的變化,因為參與全球性圖像經濟的程度及方式直接影 響了主體性的價值與意義。