Post-photography: Apparatus, Images, Practices in Art and Everyday Culture

SNSF-funded research project

Curating Photography in the Networked Image Economy

SNSF-funded research project

These projects contribute to research on photographic practices in the context of the digitization and networking of image production in art, entertainment, and everyday life.

Attempts to define an essence of post-photography with reference to the end of photography have added little to our understanding of the medium. It seems more rewarding to research the contexts and conditions under which meaning is produced after the end of traditional concepts of the apparatus, image, and image-making, and to rely on a wider notion of the seeing machine as opposed to the traditional camera apparatus. These research projects start from the assumption that post-photography can only be adequately described as a phenomenon created as a network of human and non-human actors, visual economies, and aesthetic paradigms, and that photography has become part of discourses of information management and computer science in which the meaning and agency of images are inseparable from the cultural dynamics of software and online platforms. They focus on image practices and curatorial strategies that have rarely been the subject of scholarly attention. They set out to establish connections between aspects of art, entertainment, and everyday practices that have previously been considered only in isolation.

Some of the key questions of the projects are: what photographic paradigms feed into the use of primarily digital seeing machines in art and everyday culture? How can post-photography be described in a way that does justice to strategies and practices in art and the everyday? How can we best describe the relationships between image, apparatus, and practice? What new challenges arise in the ‘post-digital’ and networked world for how photographic institutions curate and archive their collections? How do the curatorial cultures of the Gallery relate to that of the Internet and its users? How are photographic institutions to record and reflect the new conditions of subjectivity and play a role in this sharing economy? Our analysis includes mobile communication devices, video gaming, artistic appropriations of immersive media technologies, and visual phenomena that are not photographs in the traditional sense.

Project team members

Wolfgang Brückle, project leader, wolfgang.brueckle[at]hslu.ch
Marco de Mutiis, PhD candidate, demutiis[at]fotomuseum.ch
Nicolas Malevé, project assistant, nicolas.maleve[at]hslu.ch
Elke Rentemeister, scientific collaborator, elke.rentemeister[at]hslu.ch
Katrina Sluis, PhD candidate, katrina.sluis[at]hslu.ch
Gaia Tedone, project assistant, gaia.tedone[at]hslu.ch
Birk Weiberg, Postdoc researcher, birk.weiberg[at]hslu.ch

Extended team members

Andrew Dewdney, London South Bank University
Mark Durden, University of South Wales
Doris Gassert, Fotomuseum Winterthur
Asko Lehmuskallio, Tampere University
Patricia de Prieto-Blanco, University of Brighton
Benoît Turquety, Lausanne University

Partner institutions

The Photographers’ Gallery, London
Fotomuseum Winterthur
London South Bank University, Centre for the Study of the Networked Image
Australian National University, Canberra

Swiss National Science Foundation