The Negatives: A Novel

The Negatives is a conceptual novel about a photographer adrift in contemporary America who is forced to confront the ethics of her practice in a moment at which the very medium of her art has reached a state of volatility, mutability, and impermanence. The project will explore the limits of photography-as-archive in an age of unprecedented image production; it will engage with the disjunction between subjective memory and photographic record while thinking through the implications of the digital archive’s instability, its susceptibility to alteration, and its vulnerability to hacking and consequent unsanctioned dissemination or even destruction. The novel will seek to understand what happens when the ephemeral digital photograph that is the only remaining record of those who have died is itself radically impermanent, and to consider what the effects of such transience might be on the nature of individual and collective memories of people, places, and events that are themselves the markers of social trauma and civil discord.

Project leader(s):
  • Patrick Flanery (Department of English, Queen Mary Univeristy of London)

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