Here’s my short talk from the Third Object-Oriented Ontology Symposium (Sept 14, The New School), on the photography of Garry Winogrand.

As I’ve already mentioned here, I had to miss the symposium because I was in China, so I submitted this short video instead of giving a presentation in person. While a video presentation isn’t very far afield from a live talk, it was an interesting exercise to have to make this instead of speaking at the event. Given the time difference, this is also the first talk I’ve given while asleep.

Watch below, or view a larger version on Vimeo. By request, a transcript is also available.

published September 15, 2011


  1. dmf

    very nice, i appreciated the emphasis on doing

  2. J Carey

    This was amazing. I am going to have to move a few walls around in my head to fit all this in. Thank you for it.


  3. Duvel Root

    Is it possible to find this talk -as text- somewhere? For those of us who do not speak English as natural language can make things easier.

    Thank you.

  4. Ian Bogost

    @J Carey

    Many thanks.

    @Duvel Root

    I can post the text. I’ll do that shortly, either here or on a page linked from here.

  5. Wayne

    Appreciated this as a Winogrand fan, as an introduction to Object-Oriented Ontology.

    Another Winogrand story is a response to people that would come up to him. They would say: Hey, I didn’t give you permission to take my photograph. His response was: I’m not taking your photograph, you happen to be in the photograph that I’m making.

  6. Ian Bogost

    Wayne, that’s a great line!

  7. Ian Bogost

    @Duvel Root

    I’ve posted a transcript, linked above.

  8. Sal

    Great commentary. I feel that the absence of ‘color’ in the black and white photographs adds a ‘fourth dimension’ to Winogrand’s snapshots of life. Not knowing the color of the sky, or of someone’s hair, or of a blouse enriches our appreciation of the scene by making us ask ourselves “so what do you actually see?”. As a physician, I often wonder if we all perceive red, or blue, or yellow in the same way? After all, colors are ultimately ascribed to a visual in the mind, and minds being different, it may be that one man’s black is another man’s white. Fascinating stuff.

    (BTW, I look forward to your visit to Tulane). Cheers.