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: Processing

Sean Cubitt | 05.03.2017 – 15.04.2024
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.

Problems of Happy Images

Monday, 30.01.2017
<p>I ended my <a href="https://www.fotomuseum.ch/de/explore/still-searching/articles/29961_image_after_2_from_truth_to_ethics" target="_blank" rel="noopener">last post</a> with the ethical and political demand for happiness for all. Yes, it is a radical demand. Our world is not a very happy place; and each of us has been schooled, by religion, politics, and what we like to call reality, that we have to put up with pain in the hope of something better coming along when we get to heaven or pay off our debts. Both prospects, in reality, are equally distant. Which means that we have schooled ourselves to accept unhappiness as the nature of life. Casting that off is a huge psychological task, let alone the immense political revolution that would have to happen to realise happiness for everyone.</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. 

The River

Tuesday, 05.11.2013
<div>The statistics are staggering, almost incomprehensible. It is estimated that every day, 1.3 billion photographs are made. Of those, 350 million are uploaded to Facebook. Google+ users, who are currently being offered some of the most advanced and easy to use photo-editing tools to lure them away from Facebook, are posting another 214 million a day. 150 million photos are shared through Snapchat, 55 million via Instagram, and another 1.4 million are added to Flickr.<br><br></div>

Here's Looking at Me

Wednesday, 13.11.2013
<div>In a defining moment of Nan Goldin’s 1980s slideshow, <em>The Ballad of Sexual Dependency</em>, the lyrics to the Velvet Underground’s classic 1967 song—<em>I’ll be your mirror/Reflect what you are, in case you don't know…'Cause I see you</em>—are heard as slides of women looking at their reflections in mirrors are projected, one after another, every four seconds. Mirrors, a much-used device in Goldin’s <em>magnum opus</em>, serve as constant reminders of our attempts to see ourselves clearly in reflective surfaces, through the eyes of others and, of course, through photography.<br><br></div>

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>

I, It, We, and They See You

Friday, 13.12.2013
<div>In <em>Blue Nights</em>, a 2011 book in which Joan Didion struggles to come to terms with her daughter’s death, she relates how, when she was briefly hospitalized herself, doctors urged her to undergo a medical procedure:<br><br></div><div><em>I recall resisting: since I had never in my life been able to swallow an aspirin it seemed unlikely that I could swallow a camera.</em><br><br></div><div><em>“Of course you can, it’s only a little camera.”</em><br><br></div><div><br></div>