Rob, for you I tried, but
"And its indexical nature is closely tied to its analogue processes"
is just rubbish. Photography is already digital, in the sense that it is the breaking of finite numbers of bonds... it's not continuous. At least the luddites who prefer analogue audio over digital have some vague justification in saying that an LP is a continuous representation of the sound (although sampling theory tells us we can recreate that to sufficient accuracy from the digital data).
He follows up with
"what is produced isn’t a ‘thing’ but only a pattern which contains the potential of something else, something else that requires the intercession of of third thing, computation"
... as opposed to a potential that requires the intercession of developer, a point made up top by Andrew M.
Now, one can say that there is a certain aesthetic in working in the darkroom (although my skin is happy to no longer be subject to the chemicals), or a zen discipline in having limited dynamic range and no ability to just wind the ISO up to 3200 and still have less grain than Tri-X, or in processing to take into account the exposure conditions that you carefully noted down at the time of shooting. Just as it's a matter of personal taste to prefer the cross-talk, high frequency attenuation and high noise floor that LP reproduction imposes on music.
But that article just strikes me as someone revelling in his ignorance of the technology he's using while having a wank over Barthe's jargon. I like Barthes, I really do, I think he was an important thinker: his essay on "haute culture / haute couture" is a wonderful deflation of self importance in the arts, and his understanding of the cyclic nature of the "return to source" argument ("rive gauche, rive droite"... I think) is brilliant. But this... why not complain about the use of flash? Or tripods, which destroy the innate implication of the photographer's emotional response to the scene in the immanent image through the shaking of his or her hands...
Actually I prefer June's portraits to Helmut's, and the overtones of BDSM leave me cold, but he did some cool stuff
I'm tempted by the mini-sumo, but than I'm currently chuffed to have found a copy of Madonna/Meisel's "Sex" for 15€, so I can catch up with what I couldn't imagine buying 24 years ago