What do we still see when we see nothing anymore?

We always see something.





„To see nothing anymore“ is a metaphor for states, in which the accustomed sight diminishes,

is suspended or levered out. What else do we see against the light, in the twilight, in the darkness, in an attack of dizziness, in states of fatigue, in hallucinations, in the course of blindness? It can be understood as an extension of the usual visual space.


The photographs in this book show rides through urban spaces; they are space and space-time recordings. A plate camera is installed in the car.Before recording, I measure the light conditions, choose an aperture, focus on the foreground, middle or background and start.

As I drive, I open the shutter of the lens and close it, after I have driven through the planned route.


The exposure is done on a single negative. One could also say that I photograph blindly.

Neither do I see in a viewfinder or on a screen what I am recording, nor can I focus the space / the street during shooting. The state of this restricted vision is contained in an expanded photographic behaviour – the movement – and in a photographic recording space expanded with this movement. So much for the recording. It obeys a strategy, stage directions, a knowledge of …, an experience and is always filled with an uncertain expectation.


Another question hides behind this: Do we want to photograph what we see?

Or do we want to photograph what we can’t see with the naked eye?!

With the present segment of day and night journeys I make layers / sediments of space, deposits of space-time which we cannot see with the naked eye. Camera and film are freed from this process of imaging what the eye sees. In any case, they never provide identical copies of what the visual center of our brain provides as an appearance. It is thanks to our capacity for illusion that we bring our everyday view of things into line with a photo, that a photo is regarded as a correct representation of reality or as a memory image.


In the shots of this book, the view of the camera eye and the normative work of our brain in processing visual impulses are brought out of congruence.

What do I still see when I see nothing anymore? The question is more than just a metaphor.

After the development of a film, the results of my strategic assumptions, the stage directions and the obstinacy of the recording can be seen. The enlarged images are suitable for interpretation, in need of explanation like astronomical images, cloud chamber images, radar or ultrasonic images, like art. We do not immediately recognise what it is about, where we are – in these pictures.


The photographs in this book require an effort of seeing / thinking or vice versa a frugality and fulfilment of seeing as in a twilight, in a light appearance, a hallucination, in a visionary seeing – if we let ourselves get into it.


Michael Järnecke