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John Francis Strauss
The Bridge
1903
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THIN-SLICING REALITY
by Donald Kuspit


Making a photograph -- a snapshot of a passing scene or the staging of a scene as though for posterity -- has usually been understood as an act of consciousness, what Cartier-Bresson called a ”decisive moment” of consciousness, but I suggest that it has less to do with consciousness than the unconscious. It has to do with that ”critical part of rapid cognition known as thin-slicing” -- ”the ability of our unconscious to find patterns in situations and behaviors based on very narrow slices of experience” -- those thin slices of experience we call photographs.

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