The Library

The Library

We often find (or occasionally invent) words which explain concepts more clearly, or describe new phenomena. We also frequently return to certain articles which we feel are particularly insightful about changes in photography or visual culture. Here you can find a constantly-updated list of terms and links, which we try to highlight and crosslink when they appear elsewhere on the site.


A novel term for generative imagery that neatly distinguishes it from camera-made. UPDATE: Now listed in Wikipedia. Source: Recommendo


The layer of meaning brought to an image by its viewer and the circumstances of their viewing. Especially relevant with mobile, algorithmically-curated image feeds. Source: The Networked Audience


A thing that refers directly to another. In the photographic realm this term gets used a lot in distinguishing between photographs (which have an indexical relationship to observed reality) and images (which include AI illustrations, paintings, drawings and collages, and which are not directly indexical)

The garden of forking memes: how digital media distorts our sense of time
How did the internet disrupt 20th century timekeeping systems and spark an insurgence of alternative historical narratives? How do old media institutions try (and fail) to keep up with the narratives of online subcultures? How does the immediate accessibility of so many alt histories undermine our a…