Initial project proposal

For this project I’ll be exploring themes of memory and deception. My aim is to investigate the relationship between photographs and memories. I’m specifically interested in the way photographs are viewed and experienced through memory. The foundation idea for my project is based on two philosophical terms, ‘a priori’ – prior knowledge– and ‘a posteriori’- post knowledge. Basically, the terms categorize learning methods- do we know something before or after we experience it? These terms can relate to the learning of anything, however, I am interested in their relation to experiencing photographs. I wish to raise the question ‘What knowledge does a photo hold?’. The concepts and ideas of my project will be an extension on the developmental work from my previous research project which was an investigation into the importance of associating memories with family photographs. This project will now become a far wider and comprehensive visual study, this time investigating in depth the way we view photographs: either with or without prior knowledge of the event depicted.


A priori is the term used when knowledge is gained without experience.

A posteriori means the opposite; it is the term used when knowledge is gained from experience.

For example…

An a priori statement: “All bachelors are unmarried.”

The marital status of every bachelor does not need to be confirmed to justify this statement. Obviously the definition of bachelor is ‘single man’.

An a posteriori statement: “It is raining outside.”

The rain must be experienced in order to confirm the statement.

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