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Seeing Degree ZeroBarthes/Burgin and Political Aesthetics$
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Ryan Bishop and Sunil Manghani

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431415

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431415.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Photography as Rhythm: On Prairie

Photography as Rhythm: On Prairie

(p.393) Photography as Rhythm: On Prairie
Seeing Degree Zero

Domietta Torlasco

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter explores Victor Burgin's Prairie through rhythm and the aesthetic conditions for constituting politically viable engagements with the image. The chapter posits rhythm as something simultaneously organising the relationship between the political and the aesthetic and as a principle that can undo that organisation. In this manner, the argument draws on Barthes' concept of 'zero degree' to render the contradictory and ultimately irreconcilable concerns of Burgin's projection pieces evoked and embodied by their rhythms. Drawing on writings by Sergei Eisenstein and many others, the chapter asks the following questions in relation to still and moving images: can we envision a rhythm that, at a juncture between the aesthetic and the political, does not operate as a principle of systematic organisation? What image of the past and of the collective would this other rhythm engender?

Keywords:   Victor Burgin, Roland Barthes, rhythm, photography, Prairie

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