A traditional materialist conception of the photograph treats the photographic image as an effect (in our head), ie. that in reality (outside of our head) there is simply the materials: photons, chemicals, ink, etc. The materialist will draw our attention to the materials, in an effort to displace the image (displace the effect, or that which is in our head). The anti-materialist might argue it the other way: that what is real is in our head (as distinct from outside of such).
But the material attributes of a photographic image (be it ink, dyes, silver, or pixels) are equally arguable as an effect in our head. And also the image is arguably no less a reality than the materials or pixels considered outside of our head.
In the following photograph, each pixel is either black or white. From a traditional materialist conception there would be argued that there are no grey tones here. If we otherwise see grey tones, (or indeed see a cat) this will be understood as an effect (in our heads). Or an "optical illusion" as one might say. Or for a mind-centric theorist the real cat (as distinct from an illusory cat) would be in our head. Either way it is argued as in our head. Or in our mind. And it is by reference to the individual pixels this will be argued - that if we look closely we will see that in reality (so called) there are no grey pixels here: only entirely black ones or entirely white ones.
But this argument is based on the idea that reality resides in the very small (the atomic), or what the image is "made of". For example, we can say that what is here immediately in front of us (in reality so called) are simply pixels, and that the image is made of these pixels (an effect of these pixels). And the effect (or anti-materialist reality) is in our head, or in our mind.
In our post-materialist conception we argue against this logic - indeed we reverse it. It will not be the image (the grey tones, the cat) which is in our head. It will be the pixels that in our head. And it will not be the image (the cat and it's grey tones) that are a function of the pixels. It will be the pixels (their value) that will be a function of the grey tones (itself a function of the cat). And interestingly it will be a random function of such. The probability of the pixel being black or white will be proportional to the grey tone (itself proportional to the cat).
But most importantly, we can actually see such grey tones. Indeed we can actually see the cat. We can see it because it is there (somewhere) rather than because our heads are here looking at it.
Edited by Carl Looper, 01 October 2015 - 12:26 AM.