Rosalind Krauss
[Writer, critic, and historian, b. 1941, Washington, D.C., lives in New York.]

 ... photography is an imprint or transfer off the real; it is a photochemically processed trace causally connected to the thing in the world to which it refers in a manner parallel to fingerprints or footprints or the rings of water that cold glasses leave on tables. The photograph is thus generically distinct from painting or sculpture or drawing. On the family tree of images it is closer to palm prints, death masks, the Shroud of Turin, or the tracks of gulls on beaches. 
 Every photograph is the result of a physical imprint transferred by light reflections onto a sensitive surface. The photograph is thus a type of icon, or visual likeness, which bears an indexical relationship to its object. 

David Maisel
[Photographer, b. 1961, New York, lives in San Francisco.]

 For me, then, photography is an act of mapping: making something that represents something else. 

Frederick Wiseman
[Filmmaker and Documentarian, b. 1930, Boston, Massachusetts, lives in Boston.]

 The effort to see and really to represent is no idle business in face of the constant force that makes for muddlement. The great thing is indeed that the muddled state too is one of the very sharpest of the realities, that it also has color and form and character, has often in fact a broad and rich comicality. 

Abelardo Morell
[b. 1948, Havana, Cuba, lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.]

 There is a lot of social photography being done now to point to the untruth of photography. It’s getting very dull now. So, okay photography doesn’t tell the truth. So what? Everyone has known this forever. 

Siegfried Kracauer
[Media critic and sociologist, b. 1889, Frankfurt, Germany, d. 1966, New York.]

 The photograph annihilates the person. 

Steve Edwards
[Writer and photohistorian, lives in London.]

 There is nothing any more but surface. Representation is all there is and can ever be. There, simply, can be no outside to this endless round of meaningless meaning. What we experience as reality is, in reality, the reality effect. The age of a life beyond the image has gone forever. Now, all we can know are media projections, the beams of flickering images, and the whirr of tape heads. 

Patti Smith
[Musician, artist, and writer, b. 1946, Chicago, Illinois, lives in Detroit and New York.]

 I love to photograph the tools of one’s trade: Duncan Grant’s paintbrushes, the typewriter of Herman Hesse, or even my own guitar, a 1957 Fender Duo-Sonic. 
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