Still Searching…

The conditions governing the digital world have led to a radical diversification not only in photography but also in the theory that underpins it and the history that is written about it. Photographic media and forms are incorporated into complex tech technological, capitalist and ideological networks; the experts who are conducting scholarly research into the role of photographic images thus come from very different disciplines. The expansion of the discourse surrounding these images is also reflected in Still Searching…, the blog on photographic theory that was initiated by Fotomuseum Winterthur in 2012 and which subjects all aspects of photography and its role in visual culture to interdisciplinary scrutiny. The bloggers invited to the online format operate at the forefront of research and enhance our awareness of current issues that are relevant to photography.

Blog series: Image Capital

Estelle Blaschke | 17.02. – 22.06.2021
Image Capital

In her blog series Image Capital, Estelle Blaschke seeks to sketch out the idea of photography as capital, ranging from metaphors of photography as currency and the broad spectrum of logistics and infrastructure to the attribution of social, epistemic or monetary value to photographs. What happens if we begin to shift the perspective towards the “economy” of photography, an aspect regarded all too often as a side effect? How productive is it to link the impulse of making photos to terms and concepts like “value”, “capital” or “currency”? How does it help us to understand today’s practices? And how might it help us to rethink past developments? The aim of this series of posts is to look at contemporary practices through the lens of these concepts, as complex and vague as they are, and to relate them to historical instances and existing writings in the field of photography studies and beyond.

In Abundance

Wednesday, 17.02.2021
<div>We take photographs, we collect them. We edit, exchange, store and sell them. Sometimes they are discarded or simply forgotten. All these actions change photographs and shape the way we deal with them. They also increase their value or reduce it.</div>

Customer Data, Plans, Bonds, Checks, Books, Journals …

Wednesday, 10.03.2021
<div>The idea of replacing an object with its visual representation, thus creating mobile images that could move and be moved freely and easily, also became relevant in another field: the modernisation of administrative procedures and the expansion of bureaucracy in the course of the twentieth century. </div>

The Business of Data Protection

Wednesday, 07.04.2021
<div>The effort to establish photography, especially in the form of microfilm, as an information technology was grounded in the hope that it could mobilise all sorts of original material that – as was the case with engineering plans – contained layers of information so dense that the content was impossible to translate into codes and thus needed to be preserved as an image. </div>

New Data Products

Tuesday, 22.06.2021
<div>The fusion of image data and metadata, which marks a paradigmatic shift in the recent history of photography, is the reason and foundation for the diverse harvesting and mining technologies based on images that are so pervasive in contemporary computing.</div>