Words cannot describe photographs in the same sense that key words or subject headings can describe verbal documents because words are not native elements of photographs. Words can describe anecdata – reactions and associations that might be functional. Some form of data is coded in some medium, transmitted, received, and decoded. Some forms of coding and circumstances of message making and decoding require little proximity of the recipient to the message maker, while some forms utterly depend on proximity. We explore 10 photographs and interactive data accumulated through interactive exhibition to explore proximity and functional meaning. These examples demonstrate three levels of generality: any image with a particular object or characteristic will do; an image with certain qualities and intriguing connections is wanted; the photograph must show particular qualities or have a backstory that is explicit as to why this is the most useful image. We suggest that a first order taxonomy of proximity comes into play. We expand the idea of a taxonomy of proximity into the more inclusive, environmental notion of an ontology of proximities – referring to types of connections, types of uses, and circumstances of discovering the threads.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.