Venturing into the world may give opportunities to capture photographic depictions that are, in a sense, temporary units of geometrical abstraction. So a hike can reveal multiple layers of interdependent fragments that appear as distinct features of the world on the surface. The photo can act as a self contained object. It may operate as a feature that repeats within the artwork to form a signifier within abstraction.
The natural order of things
A photo acts as an empty referent. Firstly it picks out an object in the world. However the object no longer exists identically as that object correlating to the instance. Its causal role is functional through producing meaning within the natural order.
How photography functions in the art practice as philosophy.
I use photography to generate an anchor. The image is a theory of meaning. The idea being where an internal account is outside any particular brain. Twin earth is a creative thought experiment that argues for this kind of semantic externalism. The photographs are modal logical operational devices to test the problems of semantic externalism. How does this occur? A photograph has a replica on the other side of the plate. The meanings within the mixed media context are internally valid to the artwork content.
However, the photograph has external semantic validity. It functions in the discourse, though also within the artwork. Arguably there is an intrinsic material property as operating within the painting. So if a viewer were to, by chance, imagine the image, then the image would both be semantically external and simultaneously serving as a meaning inside the person’s brain.
Photographic type to token relationship
The slide show below depicts a identical pair of images for each bird token. There is the original photo, the other is a trace of the original for painterly impact. This might aid to understand the twin earth analogy. The meaning for the word finch in the original refers to the resemblance with the photo. The photo trace also refers to the word finch but in a different sense. The word finch suggests the meanings are external by token of a type of bird.
Although inside the brain the token ‘finch’ acts to produce other tokens. This occurs in the real world through variations of the original. That is the original could be changed into another trace, and so on. That is both images refer to the type of bird (finch, hawk, honeyeater) but pick out a unique token depending on the representation. The token seems to function subjectively but the type has an external semantic relation to the object in the world, known by other minds.