Still Searching…

Nicht nur die Fotografie, sondern auch ihre Theorie und Geschichtsschreibung erfahren unter digitalen Bedingungen eine radikale Erweiterung. Fotografische Medien und Formen sind in komplexe technologische, kapitalistische und ideologische Netzwerke eingebunden; Expert_innen, die die Rolle fotografischer Bilder wissenschaftlich untersuchen, kommen entsprechend aus ganz unterschiedlichen Disziplinen. Die Erweiterung des Diskurses um fotografische Bilder bildet sich auch auf dem Theorie-Blog Still Searching… des Fotomuseum Winterthur ab, der sich seit 2012 interdisziplinär mit allen Aspekten der Fotografie und ihrer Rolle in der visuellen Kultur beschäftigt. Eingeladene Blogger_innen des Online- Formats bewegen sich an vorderster Front der Forschung und schärfen unseren Blick für die aktuellen und relevanten Fragestellungen rund um die Fotografie.

Blog series: François Brunet

François Brunet | 15.01. – 28.02.2014
François Brunet

Starting on January 15, 2014, the historian of images and American culture, François Brunet, will tackle the following questions in his blog series: Why are portraits relatively neglected in the history of images, and how can we approach them today? Can we consider or treat photographs, in general, as historical documents, and what does this mean today, particularly in the face of mounting visual skepticism? And what do we make of the circulation of images in writing histories of images and history in general? How does one study, narrate, illustrate circulation?

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?

Dienstag, 14.01.2014
<div>This is my first real attempt at writing a blog, and I want to thank the Fotomuseum Winterthur for inviting me. I have to beg readers to bear with me while I adjust my academic style to something more conversational, hoping indeed to continue the lively conversation on “Still Searching”. I say continue, because even though I mostly want to concentrate on history — how do we, how should we, write histories of photography today, in 2014? — I would like to interact with previous bloggers here, especially Marvin Heiferman’s very suggestive comments and questions in the previous series.<br><br></div>

“What if God Was One of Us?” (On portraiture, One)

Freitag, 24.01.2014
<div>My daughter, 14, had a school assignment about finding and analyzing a song “with a message.” She is very musical, and good in school, but she sometimes seeks our advice. After discussing the notion of “with a message” and searching for possible songs (Dylan, Springsteen, Leforestier, etc.) we thought about a more recent song that she liked quite a bit, “One of Us” or “What if God Was One of Us?” <br><br></div>

Meet Billy the Kid (On Portraiture, Two)

Dienstag, 04.02.2014
<div>In my previous post I raised the question, “why is it that commercial portraiture, which in the 19th century and into the 20th made up an overwhelming majority of all photographs taken, has received comparatively so little attention in the more established histories of photography?” </div>

Trove Found at Naval Yard (On History, One)

Montag, 17.02.2014
<div>This week, as happens every so often, a post on the PhotoHistory list forwarded a press article relating the discovery of a “trove” of forgotten photographs — in this case, a collection of 150 glass slides showing scenes from the Spanish American War of 1898, “discovered” in Navy archives in Washington D.C. <br><br></div>

Archives forever (On History, Two)

Freitag, 28.02.2014
<p>Our recent discussions on this blog have set me thinking about the notion of archives in photography. My personal and professional concern is primarily with historical uses of photographic and other archives, but I want to consider these uses from the vantage point of today, i.e. the vocabulary and the concerns of the digital era, which is characterized by perhaps unprecedented “archive fever” (Derrida, as quoted recently by Nils Plath on this blog) or archive fervor, but also by deep ambiguities and problems in the very notion of “archive/s.”</p>