Lev Manovich
[Artist, theorist, and critic, b. 1960, Moscow, lives in New York.]

 As digital and network media rapidly become an omnipresent in our society, and as most artists come to routinely use these new media, the field is facing a danger of becoming a ghetto whose participants would be united by their fetishism of latest computer technology, rather than by any deeper conceptual, ideological or aesthetic issues—a kind of local club for photo enthusiasts. 
 Straight photography has always represented just one tradition of photography; it always coexisted with equally popular traditions where a photographic image was openly manipulated and was read as such. Equally, there never existed a single dominant way of reading photography; depending on the context the viewer could (and continue to) read photographs as representations of concrete events, or as illustrations which do not claim to correspond to events which have occurred. Digital technology does not subvert “normal” photography because “normal” photography never existed. 
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