The Uncertainty of the Mass Image: Logistics and Behaviours

Cubitt, Sean. 2017. The Uncertainty of the Mass Image: Logistics and Behaviours. Digital Creativity, 28(4), pp. 265-278. ISSN 1462-6268 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The question of uncertainty raised in this special issue raises issues for the image as truthful, the truth that viewers can claim to find in images, and the ethical dimensions of truth. By tracing some key changes in the history of photography, this paper demonstrates that the mass production and especially mass storage and distribution of images creates a new condition for the image. This condition asserts that the purpose of the totality of the mass image as it now exists in databases is a mode of truth which alters earlier ontological, epistemological and ethical claims for certainty. Rather than propose a return to the humanistic privilege of the individual image, the paper suggests that a new politics of truth is demanded by the new condition of the mass image.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


photography, uncertainty, mass image, image database, social media, logistics, behaviours

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


6 September 2017Accepted
4 October 2017Published Online
1 December 2017Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2017 16:06

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:34

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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