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Aesthetics After Photography - Workshop Session 2

Barbara Savedoff & Jonathan Friday

Barbara Savedoff - Finding a Future in Photography's Past: Antiquarian Processes in the Digital Age


As digital replaces film photography, changing our understanding of what a photograph is and what photographers can do, it is striking that a few prominent artists and photographers—Chuck Close, Sally Mann, and Adam Fuss, among others—are turning to historical processes. They are making daguerreotypes, tintypes, and photograms, using pinhole cameras, papers negatives, and wet plate processes.

While digital tools have provided photographers with new-found creative freedoms, these freedoms have come at a price. The return to historical processes can be seen as an effort to preserve and bring to the fore crucial elements of photography that are endangered by the dominance of digital image-making.


Jonathan Friday - Placing the Digital Photograph: Issues of Medium, Representation and Aesthetics


This paper considers three related questions about digital photography arising from this new forms relationship to analogue film photography: Are digital technologies sufficiently transformative to support the claim that they have given rise to a new or hybrid pictorial medium?; What are the consequences for understanding the nature of photographic representation of imaging technologies?; and Does digital photography call for a new or revised approach to photographic aesthetics, or is a simple extension of existing models of theorising sufficient? Answering these questions will be shown to draw our understanding of digital photography in different directions, but it will be argued that careful consideration of conceptual and historical matters this relatively new photographic technology and practice can be consistently placed in relation to previous technologies, practices and theorising.