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: Past, Present and Future of the Photo Book

Markus Hartmann | 15.09. – 31.10.2014
Past, Present and Future of the Photo Book

Until October 31 Markus Hartmann, the former publishing director of Hatje Cantz will be thinking about the past, present and future of the photo book:

“Making and selling books was (and still is) a commercial venture, similar to the gallery business. I mention this because a lot of people from the inner circles of the art world do not have the same understanding and see their work or other works and exhibitions from a more idealistic point of view. I was accustomed to thinking about money and budgets when publishing books, and seldom had the opportunity to make books without such constraints. This is one reason why my contributions to this blog will focus more on the business side of making photo books than contributions from historians, researchers, curators, etc.”

The Current Scene of Photo Book and Art Book Publishing, As I See It

Sunday, 14.09.2014
<div>Welcome to everyone following this blog!<br><br></div><div>I am not a theoretician, nor overly intellectual, nor an art historian, nor a regular writer – just a manic art book publisher who, after 25 years in the business of making art and photography books, has taken a break to consider the years gone by. <br><br></div>

What Works in the Photo Book World Today and What no Longer Works?

Tuesday, 23.09.2014
<div>The photo book market faces the same challenges that most markets are facing these days. This includes overproduction (or "overpublishing," as we call it in our world), a shrinking customer base in the main markets (Europe, USA), changing distribution channels, discount wars, and competition from other media (e-books, online information, print on demand), to name just a few.<br><br><br></div>

On Digital and Analogue Books and a Possible Scenario for the Future

Tuesday, 28.10.2014
<div>(I will take the liberty here to describe my wildest fantasies).<br><br></div><div>Lorenzo Rocha and Andreas Langen in their discussion on September 24 and 25 raised an interesting point that I want to reflect on.<br><br></div><div><br><br></div>
Blog series: What Remains of the Photographic beyond Photography

Sophie Berrebi | 01.03. – 14.04.2013
What Remains of the Photographic beyond Photography

Sophie Berrebi will be looking for what remains of the photographic beyond photography. Or in her own words: “This is what I would like to explore in the next few weeks: What remains when photography transforms itself? How does technological modification trigger ontological change – if at all – and how does this translate into the way we apprehend pictures as producers, sitters, and viewers? In short, what interests me is how photography has taught us to look and what remains of the photographic beyond photography.”

The Opacity of Photography

Thursday, 21.03.2013
<div>One of my students recently declared she believed there was nothing to learn from Flusser’s writings on photography. For her, digital technology expanded the possibilities of photography well beyond what Flusser described as the pre-defined program contained within the camera apparatus. The same went for the idea of the impenetrability of the “black box,” which seemed ludicrous in today’s context of widely shared technical astuteness and the infinite possibilities offered by photo-editing software.<br><br></div>

The Production of Documents

Monday, 08.04.2013
<div>“In history everything begins with the gesture of <em>setting aside</em>, of putting together, of transforming certain classified objects into ‘documents.’ This new cultural distribution is the first task. In reality it consists in <em>producing</em> such documents by dint of copying, transcribing, or photographing these objects, simultaneously changing their locus and their status.” <br><br></div>