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A Trace of Actions Unseen: The Photographic Error as Photography ‘in performance’In contemporary digital photography the accident or fault is an increasingly rare and unusual phenomenon, but it presents valuable insights into the practice of photography. This article discusses how the photographic error reveals qualities of the photographic experience normally hidden in conventional photographs, and proposes a reconsideration of time in relation to photography perceived through the accidental image. The error is conceived as a performance, extending the conventional time scales of the photograph from the ‘snap’ into three ‘acts’: the photographic event, the recording of an image and, lastly, interpretation by the viewer. In each stage the error’s relationship to time is shown to be ambiguous and multifaceted, counterpointing a simplified concept of time which prevails in the conventional photograph. The error exposes the entanglement of actors and relationships within the act of photographing and in so doing destabilises common assumptions about photographs as simple, immediate documents.