Blast-off photography : Nancy Davenport and expanded photography

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-43
Journal / PublicationHistory of Photography
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes


This article engages the question of expanded photography through a study of Nancy Davenport's 2008 piece Blast-off Animation, part of her multichannel DVD installation WORKERS (Leaving the Factory). The piece comprises digital photomontages, 'collages made up of hundreds of still images - then animated in very basic ways'. In this, post-production has become the principal site of photographic image production. Recorded and calculated images are merged into augmented documents that no longer display an (impossible) past, but a possible present. Digitally animated into moving stills, and displayed in the form of continuous loops, these images meet less a desire for movement than a desire for (spatial and temporal) endlessness. In including within the frame the endlessness beyond the frame, expanded photography overcomes the spatial and temporal confinement of the still - but in so doing confines photography within its supposed deficiency. By following the conceptual and strategic threads - and pitfalls - of expanded photography, the present essay seeks to clear the way for a new, fluctuating temporality of images - a photographic now. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Research Area(s)

  • Animation, Augmented document, Contemporary photography, Digital video, Expanded photography, Ken Burns effect, Loop, Moving still, Nancy Davenport (1965-present), Photographic now, Photomontage, Post-production