Still Searching…

From 2012 to 2023, the discursive blog format of Fotomuseum Winterthur subjected all aspects of photography and its role in visual culture to interdisciplinary scrutiny. The approximately 50 bloggers that contributed to Still Searching… discussed photographic media and forms within their complex technological, capitalist and ideological networks and negotiated some of the most pressing and relevant questions surrounding photography.

Blog series: Digital Infrastructures of Race and Gender

Safiya Umoja Noble | 06.12.2017 – 31.01.2018
Digital Infrastructures of Race and Gender

Till the end of January, Safiya U. Noble explores the intersectional ways race and gender are embedded in digital infrastructures. Noble suggests that logics and structures of race are a matter of network and platform design, which encode values that cannot be divorced from the digital. To open, she investigates the erosion of humanities and social science courses from the education of engineers, and suggests that the erasure of sociality impacts conceptions of technology’s promise. Later in the series, she explores other dimensions of the social stack and how race and gender are embedded in contemporary conceptions of the digital.

The Problems of Profiting from Internet Pollution

Monday, 08.01.2018
<p><!--[if gte mso 9]>--> Normal 0 21 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <!--[if gte mso 9]>--> <!--[if gte mso 10]>--> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normale Tabelle"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:Arial; color:black; mso-ansi-language:EN; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment--></p> <p><span>At the end of 2017, I attended and participated in an international conference on internet content moderation, </span><span><a href="https://atm-ucla2017.net/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span>All Things in Moderation</span></a></span><span>, at the University of California, Los Angeles, organized by my long-time research collaborator, </span><span><a href="http://newsroom.ucla.edu/experts/preview/5877c4372cfac202470891d1/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><span>Dr. Sarah T. Roberts</span></a></span><span>, an authority on commercial content moderation. This conference was the first of its kind, bringing in stakeholders for public conversations that reflected the concerns of industry, activists, content moderation workers, journalists, academics, and policy makers. In today’s blog post, I want to talk about the ethical dimensions of regulating the internet and digital media platforms, whether by content moderation, algorithms and automated decision-making systems, or by public policy. </span></p>
Blog series: Processing

Sean Cubitt | 05.03.2017 – 28.02.2024
Processing

The photographic image introduced a radical new proposition about representation. Drawing, painting and printmaking required prolonged contemplation of subjects. The long exposures of early photography seemed to parallel that durational encounter. But the appearance of the snapshot changed that. The photogram was an isolated moment singled out that provided a new aesthetic and a new ethical quandary about the instant seized abruptly from the flow of time. The moving image may be seen as an attempt to heal this trauma in the flux of time, but one that created new modes of temporal alienation. Digital imaging, still and moving, alters the conditions of the photogram, bringing it closer to the processing of scientific instruments. In his blog series, thinking ahead of a proposed new avenue of research into the aesthetic politics of truth, Sean Cubitt draws on thinkers from Flusser to Badiou to consider the changing nature and function of time from the decisive moment to data visualisation.

Image + After 2: From Truth to Ethics

Wednesday, 18.01.2017
<p>In my last post I argued that the gradual move of photography from random scatters of molecules to formal grids marks its assimilation into formal modernity. Before leaping to this conclusion, it is important as well to reflect on photography’s place among scientific instruments, one of the major ways it was understood in its early period. <a href="http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo3710110.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Peter Galison</a> makes a distinction between image and logic as two principles of scientific observation.</p>
Blog series: Marvin Heiferman

Marvin Heiferman | 01.11. – 15.12.2013
Marvin Heiferman

In his blog series, Marvin Heiferman will take a broad look at the medium as it is changing and being redefined, and consider the issues in and around the medium that are provocative. Rather than understanding photography as a medium in crisis, as some people seem so eager to suggest, Heiferman sees photography in the midst of being re-imagined – this is will be his starting point to look at and talk about over the course of his blogging period. He will use news reports and stories about topical images, events, and issues in visual culture as the basis for taking a weekly look at how photography and our relationship to it are changing. He will link to stories, write about the issues that they raise, and invite readers to take an active role in the discussion. 

How, Where, and When Will We Really Talk About Photography?

Friday, 22.11.2013
<div><a href="http://www.fotomuseum.ch/en/explore/still-searching/articles/26966_the_river">In an earlier post</a> where I marveled over the almost unimaginable number of photographic images made daily, some commenters here and on Twitter (where I’m happy to see these posts bouncing around, too) remarked that it was time to get over being amazed, alarmed, or fetishizing what is, in fact, an undeniable pile up of pictures. The gist of some of those responses was that the bulk of those images are made privately, don’t circulate widely, and aren’t particularly good or meaningful in the first place.<br><br></div>
Blog series: What Can Photography Do?

Hilde Van Gelder | 01.06. – 14.07.2012
What Can Photography Do?

In her blog series What Can Photography Do, the current blogger Hilde van Gelder will examine art photography’s mobilizing potential in contemporary reality. She will investigate why artists use photographs in order to engage in critical debates about urgent political, economic and ecological issues for today’s society. On a more proactive level, the blog series wants to contribute to understanding how photography as art ― including the moving image ― performs as a constructive actor to rethink and reinvent human solidarity. Several concrete examples of photographic art works are used in order to provide a theoretical framework. The various consequences that artistic choices entail for the world views encapsulated within the proposed images, are carefully scrutinized. The blog series thus aims to raise collective discussion about the profound insights that photographs offer for both visualizing and imagining a renewed understanding of the concept of humanity. As such, this blog series is actively committed to thinking the multiple humanities of the future.

Aesthetic Ruptures

Monday, 18.06.2012
<div>On June 20, 2012, at 7 p.m., Fotomuseum Winterthur will screen Renzo Martens’s <em>Episode III - Enjoy Poverty</em> (2008). For several years, I have been researching (and lecturing on) issues – related to photography and beyond – addressed in this film, which was shot in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This has been especially the case within the framework of a research project that T.J. Demos (University College London) and I have been jointly working on. <br><br></div>