hat is our investment in understanding photography as proof, a representation of verifiable reality? This class investigates the debates around photography's status as evidence within visual culture despite recognition of the historical, material, ideological and psychic forces constructing it. Through close observation and theoretical readings to give us context, we will grapple with the question of how photography's use as a documentary or scientific tool turns into its abuse distorting reality in order to sustain established power systems. Additionally, we shall consider the appropriation, manipulation and virtualization of the image in Dada, Surrealism, Pop, Conceptual Art, and Postmodernism. Embarking with the issues of photography, truth, and realism set forth by John Tagg and Sarah Kember, texts for the course will come from diverse perspectives often at odds in their quest to define the medium and its social, political, and cultural meanings. Among the critical texts to be studied will figure the writings of Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, Susan Sontag, Victor Burgin, Michel Frizot, Geoffrey Batchen, Pierre Bourdieu, Roland Barthes, Walker Evans, Alan Sekula, Brian Wallis, Jeff Wall, Deborah Willis, Lev Manovich, Paul Virilio, and others.