Call: 21st century photography: Art, philosophy, technique


21st century photography: art, philosophy, technique
Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London
5-6 June 2015

Abstracts due March 10, 2015

This trans-disciplinary conference aims to explore a series of themes that emerge from the understanding of contemporary photography as the basic unit of visual communication of the age of technology: online, off-line and between the lines.

The aim is to bridge the gap between aesthetic, philosophical and technological approaches to the photographic image and to prompt participants from different backgrounds (fine art, critical theory, philosophy, software/hardware) to engage with each other and to open new avenues for the critical interrogation of the roles of images in contemporary culture.

In the past decade, photography has gained momentum in public and private environments becoming one of the determining factors of contemporary life. The hyper-growth in various forms of digital imagery for screens provides a quintessential example. The triumph of the photographic image as the internally eloquent and profoundly apt expression of computational culture also provides a new philosophical lens upon which to investigate how representation affects norms of meaning-creation, and the ethical and political consequences of the acceptance of images as purveyors of truth.

In light of such dynamics, 21st century photography: art, philosophy, technique seeks to address the re-birth of photography from a diversity of visual narratives and from the strange roles images get to perform in the digital moment.

Possible themes may include, but not limited to:

  • Situating photography within the framework of contemporary philosophy
  • The aesthetics of repetition, reproduction and copy
  • The political implications of visual practices
  • New theoretical models for assessing contemporary image culture
  • Duration and temporality of the ‘still’ image
  • Sensorial and bodily experience of photography
  • Photography and the post-human
  • Theoretical dimensions of the idea of ‘representation’
  • Data, information and algorithms in the visual field
  • Archiving and curating the immaterial image
  • Augmented reality and immersive visual environments
  • Non-visual dimensions of photography

Confirmed keynote speakers:

  • Prof. Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English at Pennsylvania State University
  • Prof. Johnny Golding, Professor of Philosophy and Fine Art, Director of Centre for Fine Art Research, BCU
  • Prof. John Roberts, Professor of Art and Aesthetics, University of Wolverhampton.

To submit a proposal:

500-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations should be sent to Dr. Daniel Rubinstein at by March 10, 2015.

Selected conference papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Philosophy of Photography.

Tickets to the conference will be available at the end of March.


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