Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Visual Arts


Sky Glabush


What are the current boundaries of the photographic and how can an ontology of photography take form as a material and conceptual program of research? Responding to the difficulty inherent in any definitive attempt to grasp photography, this dissertation places emphasis on the less determined act of evoking as a model of dialogue, and engagement, with the photographic. This dissertation is composed of two parts that engage both the question “What is photography?” and the ontological anxiety that shadows it. These lines of questioning are pursued in two ways: directly through considering the qualities of the photographic as elucidated by the subjects of the blue hour and the expanding field, and indirectly through the author’s own artistic practice. Part One of this dissertation is a written thesis; Part Two presents a selection of work from the author’s material practice developed during his doctoral program: two solo exhibitions, two group exhibitions, an artist publication, and an artist project. Since photography, as the imagistic and material, produces meaning through conjunction and paradox, the author identifies it as a compelling field in which to situate his own artistic practice.