[Writer and philosopher, b. 1920, Prague, Czechoslovakia, d. 1991, Prague.]
The act of photography is like going on a hunt in which photographer and camera merge into one indivisible function. This is a hunt for new states of things, situations never seen before, for the improbable, for information.
Photographers, it is true, do not work but they do do something: They create, process, and store symbols.
Both those taking snaps and documentary photographers... have not understood “information.” What they produce are camera memories, not information, and the better they do it, the more they prove the victory of the camera over the human being.
He who writes must master the rules of grammar. He who shoots photographs needs only to follow the instructions as given by the camera.... This leads to the paradox that the more people shoot photographs, the less they are capable of deciphering them.
Photographers encode their concepts as photographic images so as to give others information, so as to produce models for them and thereby to become immortal in the memory of others.
Even though the last vestiges of materiality are attached to photographs, their value does not lie in the thing but in the information on their surface.
With every (informative) photograph, the photographic program becomes poorer by one possibility while the photographic universe becomes richer by one realization.
If one observes the movements of a human being in possession of a camera (or of a camera in possession of a human being), the impression given is of someone lying in wait.