For this blog, I will address a number of ideas about the contemporary role of photography within digital culture and artistic practice. With the photographic image having become firmly established as the predominant form of online image, photography is now an increasingly pervasive mode of cultural production. As a result, it is important to explore the role of digital photography within the context of photography as both an artistic medium and a specialized field that has emerged over the course of the last two centuries.
Also a key question is how networked photographic practices are being incorporated into the work of contemporary artists. In considering artistic practices that make use of online imagery, I will argue that the field of photography has expanded to such an extent that one must rethink its validity as specialized discipline. The first blog post, entitled What I Talk about When I Talk about Photography, will thus examine the field of photography as having now expanded to the point that its definite outlines are eroding. After this introduction, I will describe the current “habitat” in which online images exist and look at the way in which this setting affects how value and meaning are attributed to images. This post will be entitled OnlineImage Behavior, Where Images (Photographs) Live Today.
After these broader observations on digital image culture and its relationship to photography, I will consider the legacy of fundamental photographic concepts and investigate how values attributed to these concepts continue to inform image culture today—before the backdrop of significant technological changes. Entitled Remnants of the Index, Hanging on to Photographic Values, the blog posts that follow will examine the legacy and relevance of iconic photographic themes in image practices today.