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CfP: Circulating Photographs: Materials, Practices, Institutions

Call for Papers
Circulating Photographs: Materials, Practices, Institutions
A photo-historical course organized and led by Tatjana Bartsch (Bibliotheca Hertziana), Maria Antonella Pelizzari (Hunter College, CUNY, New York), Johannes Röll (Bibliotheca Hertziana), and Steffen Siegel (Folkwang Universität der Künste, Essen).

Rome, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for Art History
March 18–22, 2019
Deadline: October 22, 2018

Photography has always been a powerful tool of communication and has developed into an instrument of our everyday experience: Through photographs we are able to communicate quickly and easily with each other. As a medium of social interaction, photographic images are used as a handy alternative to language, supplementing or even replacing it. They transport us to sites and individuals, connecting the distant and the temporally remote. This far-reaching development is increasingly driven by the digitization of our everyday culture. Photography is both part of this process, and its most visible expression. Photo-historical research can contribute important observations to this diagnosis of our own time. From the moment photographic images became a matter of public interest, they served as objects of circulation and social connection. Already by the middle of the 19th century photography had opened global routes of image-based economies,providing and distributing our interpretations of visible worlds. As commodities or gifts, they are traded and exchanged, distributed and collected. The proliferation of photographically based information and the trading of photographic objects constitute important aspects of social interaction in the early stages of globalization.

These observations are our point of departure for the course titled “Circulating Photographs: Materials, Practices, Institutions”. Our aim is to develop a focused, multi-disciplinary analysis of the photographic image as an object of circulation, especially over the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries (up to 1950). In the context of photo-historical research it is common practice to ask about processes of production or reception. In contrast, by putting circulation modalities at the center of our interest, we would like to accentuate the importance of such interactions for the production of photographic meaning. Acts of transmission constitute an important framework for the semantics of photographic imagery. Thus, we are interested in the realm of photographs as a foundation and tool for social interaction and in the practices that lead to our current understanding of image exchange. The vernacular image and its everyday practices are as important as highly professional appropriations within the domain of the arts and sciences. We are particularly interested in strategies of networking that have been enabled, shaped, modified or rejected by photography.

Looking for historical conditions that enabled photographs to circulate requires a closer investigation of premises related to such interactions:

  1. The material foundations of photography, i.e., its historically shifting concreteness in terms of production processes and technologies.
  2. The ensemble of practices, i.e., the methods and channels that have been developed, cultivated and refined for the circulation of photographs.
  3. The diversity of institutions that have been created or adapted to this purpose.

Examining the variety of connections between these aspects will provide a new understanding of photo-historical developments that lean on the idea of exchange within the domain of visual media. We are especially interested in practices and strategies that have been developed in photography’s pre-digital era and we ask whether, and how, they can be regarded as a foundation for current media practices of transmission and exchange. Such an interest stimulates a variety of questions:

–   What types of circulation can and should we distinguish?
–   How does the materiality of photographic images affect and shape their circulation? And how does the circulation of photographs have an impact on their materiality?
–   What differences are there in professional and private practices among the networks of circulation?
–   What kinds of channels have been developed and used for the circulation of photographs?
–   In what ways do modes of circulation differ – modes such as sending, exchanging, transferring, sharing, dissemination, dispersion, etc.? How do we perceive and evaluate these historical practices today, and vice versa, how does our current practice shed light on the meaning of past exchanges of photographs?
–   How can we conceptualize the difference between circulating photographs as original prints on the one hand, and circulating reproductions of them on the other?
–   How does the photographic picture become a social entity in the process of its circulation?
–   How is meaning produced and altered through processes of circulation?
–   How can we describe the ongoing media change of photography from the point of view of circulation?
–   What conclusions can be drawn by examining specific time periods regarding the processes of circulation?
–   What kind of media practices of transmission from previous periods of media history are still in use today?

The course is aimed at advanced M.A. students, Ph.D. candidates and recent post-docs in art history and related disciplines with a strong photo-historical component. The course will be held in English. During the course, all participants will present their current research project, which should exhibit a close connection to the course subject matter. The course is supplemented by visits to photographic archives in Rome.

The Bibliotheca Hertziana will offer lodging and reimburse half of the incurred travelling expenses. In addition, participants will receive a daily allowance.

Please send the following application materials as a single PDF-document to (subject “Studienkurs”) by October 22 2018:
–   Abstract of proposed subject/case study
–   Brief CV
–   Brief summary of your master’s thesis, dissertation or postdoctoral project
–   Names and contact details of two references

For further information please contact:

CFP Conference Image Net/Works

Date: 8 December 2018
Location: Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland
Deadline: 15 September 2018

Image Net/Works is a conference organised by Lucerne University of Applied Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Fotomuseum Winterthur to tackle issues related to photography’s changing role in the context of contemporary political-economic systems.

Photographic media have become central to the productive activities of today’s digital economy. Discourses around immaterial and digital labour (Lazzarato 1996, Hardt and Negri 2000, Terranova 2000, Fuchs 2013) have attempted to develop new models to address increasingly complex modes of production tied to global digital networks. On the other hand, various approaches in media theory (Flusser 1987, Rubinstein and Sluis 2008, Steyerl 2009, Hoelzl and Marie 2015) have explored new forms of photographic production, describing new relations between photographers and the apparatus, as well as images and viewers. The discourse on the changing nature of labour is tightly connected to the role that photographic media, in their algorithmic and networked form, play in a society where information technology has become a dominant force. So far photography has received little attention beyond wider and more general reflections about media’s role as digital commodities and the internet as a playground for cognitive labour.

Image Net/Works will attempt to connect these separate but overlapping discourses. The conference will specifically focus on images and the associated economies of looking, producing and sharing. It will investigate contemporary and historical modes of photographic production and forms of labour that are connected to the computational exchange of pictures, the harvesting of attention, new kinds of image value and photography’s various roles in the current economic system.

The conference is an integral part of the SITUATIONS programme at Fotomuseum Winterthur and part of the Post-Photography research project. It will take place in the context of the exhibition SITUATIONS / To look is to labor (opening 7 December at 6 pm).

We welcome applications by researchers and artists working on this subject. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Economies of looking (spectacle, propaganda, advertisements, clickbaits, etc.)
  • Exchange and use value of networked images (online sharing, ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, etc.)
  • Labour behind the production of images (metadata, tagging, censorship, etc.)
  • Attention economy and value extraction in image networks (fan labour, eye tracking, meme circulation, etc.)

Proposals that shed light on historical material from perspectives related to the abovementioned issues are also welcome.

The conference language is English. Submissions should include a title and an abstract (up to 300 words), as well as a CV, and should be submitted to by 15 September 2018. Accommodation and travel allowance will be provided.

For any enquiries, please contact:

Marco de Mutiis
Wolfgang Brückle

Programm: Fotografie und Technik | 4. Workshop der AG Fotografieforschung

14. und 15. Juni 2018, am Institut für Medienwissenschaft / Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, Philipps-Universität Marburg

Der Workshop versteht die Technik als einen zentralen, aber diverser Teil der Fotografie. Im Workshop wird der Frage nach der Technik weniger grundsätzlich theoretisiert nachgegangen, als dass in den Mittelpunkt gestellt wird, wie die Technik in der Erforschung der Fotografie berücksichtigt werden kann. Im interdisziplinären Zusammenspiel wird das Ziel verfolgt, breit aufgerissene Problemhorizonte zu diskutieren und zu reflektieren. Willkommen sind daher fotografieinteressierte Wissenschaftler_innen aus allen Disziplinen. Für die Teilnahme ist es nicht zwingend notwendig, Mitglied der GfM oder der AG Fotografieforschung zu sein. Im Sinne des Workshop-Charakters steht die Diskussion im Vordergrund. Vorab wird von den eingeladenen Referent_innen ein ca. 8-seitiges Papier eingereicht, das die methodischen Überlegungen und Fragen an einer eigenen Fallstudie oder anhand einer exemplarischen und einschlägigen Position umreißt. Das Papier soll von allen Workshop-Teilnehmer_innen gelesen worden sein. Auf dem Workshop wird lediglich eine maximal 10minütige Impulspräsentation stattfinden, die das jeweils diskutierte Material mit den Leitfragen koppelt. Im Anschluss jeder Präsentation findet eine ca. 30minütige Diskussion statt.

Anmeldungen bitte an die Organisatoren: Daniel Bühler (Cottbus) und Jens Ruchatz (Marburg)

Am Workshop kann nur nach vorheriger Anmeldung teilgenommen werden.

Donnerstag | 14.06.2018

14.00 Uhr     Daniel Bühler (Cottbus) und Jens Ruchatz (Marburg) Begrüßung und Einführung

Panel 1

14.20 Uhr     Mona Schubert (Köln) Das dirigierte Bild: Gilbert Simondons „Die Existenzweise technischer Objekte“ (1958) und das fotografische Dispositiv

15.00 Uhr     Stephan Sagurna (Münster) Materialimmanente Spurenanalyse: Zur technischen Genese und Rekonstruktion des Bildentstehungsprozesses von Fotografien

15.40 Uhr     Franz Hefele (München) „Handhaltung: Körperhaltung“: Otto Croy über den Umgang mit fotografischer Technik

16.20 Uhr     Kaffeepause

Panel 2

16.50 Uhr     Carolin Anda (Potsdam) Visuelle und technische Ebenen in Bilderkennungsalgorithmen: Vom visuellen Software-Training zum zwinkernden Selfie

17.30 Uhr     Birk Weiberg (Zürich) Existenzweisen der Kamera

18.10 Uhr     Joachim Froese (Brisbane) Fotografie als Technik

18.50 Uhr     Ende

19.00 Uhr     Gemeinsames Abendessen

Freitag | 15.06.2018

Archivbesuch: Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg

9.00 Uhr        Hubert Locher, Sonja Feßel und Susanne Dörler (Marburg) Archivbesuch

Panel 3

11.20 Uhr     Antje Dittmann (Berlin) Das Ringen der Fotografie um Eigenständigkeit in der fotomechanischen Vervielfältigung

12.00 Uhr     Doris Gassert (Winterthur) In/stabile Bilder und die Politiken der Repräsentation

12.40 Uhr     Mittagspause

Panel 4

14.00 Uhr     Verena Kuni (Frankfurt a. M.) Lochkamera

14.40 Uhr     Stefanie Stallschus (Berlin) Sichtbare Dunkelheit – Die Nachtaufnahme als ein intensiviertes Bild der Technik

15.20 Uhr     Maria Männig (Karlsruhe) Scan(phot)ography. Von der Kunst des Bildermachens

16.00 Uhr     Schlussdiskussion

16.30 Uhr     Ende

Call for Papers Studientage für Fotografie „Fotografie und Gesellschaft“ / Research Seminar on the History of Photography 2018 „Photography and Society“

Die veränderten technischen Dispositionen und andauernden Erweiterungen der Verbreitungsmöglichkeiten des Mediums haben zu einer Situation geführt, die als »Allgegenwart« der Fotografie bezeichnet wird: Jeder kann immer und überall Fotografien aufnehmen, bearbeiten und verteilen, sie de- und rekontextualisieren und auch bewerten. Weil die Praxis und die digitale Verbreitung von Bildern immer einfacher werden, scheinen die Beziehungen von Fotografie und Gesellschaft offenkundiger denn je.

Die Studientage für Fotografie 2018 widmen sich der Zirkulation der Bilder, der gesellschaftlichen Verbreitung des Fotografierens, dem kritischen Potential fotografischer Gesellschaftsbilder sowie der Fotografie als Methode der Gesellschaftsanalyse aus gegenwärtiger und historischer Perspektive, um Kontinuitäten und Brüche in den Themenfeldern herauszuarbeiten. Die fünftägige Veranstaltung bietet Promovierenden und Post-Docs die Möglichkeit zur Präsentationen ihrer Forschungen, Seminare, Diskussionsrunden, Besuche wichtiger Sammlungen und Gespräche mit KuratorInnen sowie ein Künstlergespräch.

Zur Bewerbung aufgefordert sind Promovierende und Post-Docs aller Disziplinen, die sich mit dem Thema auseinandersetzen. Die Konferenzsprachen sind Deutsch und Englisch. Bewerbungen mit einem Exposé (max. 3 000 Zeichen) und CV werden bis 15. April 2018 erbeten an Franziska Scheuer (scheuer[at]

Das Stipendium umfasst Vorbereitungsmaterialien, Übernachtungen und einen Reisekostenzuschuss.

Mit Aida Bosch (Institut für Soziologie, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg), Florian Ebner (Chef de service, Cabinet de la photographie, Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou, Paris), André Gunthert (Maître de conférences, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Andréa Holzherr (Global Exhibitions Manager Magnum Photos, Paris), Hubert Locher (Kunstgeschichtliches Institut, Philipps-Universität Marburg/Deutsches Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg), Jens Ruchatz (Institut für Medienwissenschaft, Philipps-Universität Marburg) und Erik Kessels.

Der Ausschreibungstext findet sich hier, ein ausführliches Konzept hier.

Informations in English can be downloaded here.

Weitere Informationen finden sich auf der Website des Dokumentationszentrums für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg.

Symposium: „POINTED OR POINTLESS? Recalibrating the Index – Part II“, on the 4th of November 2017 in Potsdam

Symposium: “POINTED OR POINTLESS? Recalibrating the Index”

Saturday 4th of November 2017 I 10:00 am – 5:30pm
Brandenburg Center for Media Studies I 18 Hermann-Elflein-Str., Potsdam 14467

The symposium “Pointed or Pointless? Recalibrating the Index” aims to reconsider the notion of the index, its history and present-day applicability. Some recent debates – which abandon strict definitions of analogue/digital and scrutinize fixed notions of truth and medium – are taken as an opportunity to readdress the notion in the 21st century.

The symposium is divided in two parts. The first event took place in London and was dedicated to the re-evaluation of the index, focusing on its historical re-assessment as well as on the steps of “stylization” of the term, following the trace from Peirce to visual theory. The second part in Potsdam will subsequently deal with the updating of the index, by taking a closer look at the use of the notion in debates on the networked image, as well as discussing gestures of authentication, which emphasize concepts of authenticity and objectivity and can be registered as indexical.

Please find more information on the symposium here:

CFP: Versatile Camcorders: Looking at the GoPro-Movement

Versatile Camcorders: Looking at the GoPro-Movement

International Workshop June 21-23 2018 at ZeM (Brandenburgisches Zentrum für Medienwissenschaften) organized by Winfried Gerling and Florian Krautkrämer.

The GoPro is a so-called “action camcorder”, a small, easy-to-use and particularly robust camera which allows making video recordings under water or during a parachute jump and other situations that are difficult to shoot.
It was first launched as an analog photo camera for surfers in 2004. The objective of this new culture is inscribed in its brand “Go-Professional”: alleged professionalization of image production under extraordinary conditions.

With the GoPro as the “world’s most versatile camera”, as said in the advertising text, the gesture of this promoted mobility is transferred to the actions of the camera operator and the possibility of linking the camera to various moving objects and subjects.
A genre of daring (existential) images emerges. For example images of the falling (skydivers, base jumpers and wingsuit fliers) and the fallen (when helmet cameras of militants record combat situations) as well as images of situations beyond control (animals hijacking the camera). Even more as in images shot with a hand camera perspectives become shaky; they flip vertical or horizontal, with the filmmakers’ bodies in the center. GoPro not only introduced a new camera segment but also changed the way of amateur filmmaking. This cannot be reduced solely to technical means, but rather to assertive brand communication.

Topics that are to be discussed at the conference from the perspective of this still relatively new device include: the transformation of amateur filmmaking and its correlating visual worlds; the gesture of venturous action and increased risk-taking; the impact on (citizen) journalism; aspects of the the circulation of images in social networks; new gestures such as selfies as well as the effects of the device on the body; surveillance (when the GoPro is mounted on drones) as well as recording the unexpected or the unintended.
Contributions do not have to focus on the manufacturer of GoPro. Proposals on the voluntary work of users as part of the brand communication as well as contributions from an artistic practice, workshop reports and applied presentations of a problem are welcome.

Please hand in your abstract (should not exceed 400 words) with a short biographical note via e-mail to by Dec 31 2017.

The workshop will be held in English and German.

GfM-Jahrestagung 2017 | AG-Panel ‚Fotografie und Display: Zur Zugänglichkeit digitaler Fotografien‘ | 06.10.17, 11h00

Im Rahmen der diesjährigen Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft zum Thema ‚Zugänge‘ am Institut für Theater- und Medienwissenschaft der FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg vom 4. – 7. Oktober 2017 findet am Freitag, 06.10., von 11h00 bis 13h00 im Großen Hörsaal das Panel der AG Fotografieforschung mit dem Titel ‚Fotografie und Display: Zur Zugänglichkeit digitaler Fotografien‚ statt.

Nähere Informationen zur Jahrestagung:

Digitale Fotografien sind nicht im engeren Sinn materiell gebunden, die Bildinformation ist in einem binären Code gespeichert. Um für die Wahrnehmung zugänglich zu werden, müssen sie sich jedoch materialisieren. Unter den Bedingungen der Digitalität erfordert es also ein Display – als Schnittstelle von Hardware, Software, (fotografischen) Daten und User – das die Bilder bzw. Daten perzeptiv zugänglich macht. Die Lösung der Bilder von einer festen Materialität hat digitalen Fotografien auch eine neue Operativität verliehen, welche unter den Bedingungen einer allgemeinen Algorithmisierung – auch kultureller Praktiken – erst zur Entfaltung kommt. Die Konjunktur der Fotografie als Bild im Display der Foto-Kamera, des Smartphones, des Tablets oder allgemeiner des Computers kann auf die Allgegenwart dieser ›neuen‹ Technologien zurückgeführt werden. Wenn man heute mit Fotografien zu tun hat, ist immer auch das Display (mit) im Bild.

Den Funktionen und Aufgaben von Fotografien und Displays sowie den Bedingungen, denen die Zugänglichmachung und Erzeugung von Fotografien im Display unterliegt, geht das Panel nach. Technische/materielle Bedingungen werden befragt, z.B. verschiedene dispositive Anordnungen, die durch Hardware vorgegeben werden sowie die Software, denen die Anzeige der Bilder unterworfen ist. Das Display als Schnittstelle von Kultur und Technik wird untersucht, indem die ästhetischen, diskursiven, sozialen und ökonomischen Rahmungen herausgearbeitet werden, welche die Bereitstellung und Verwendung, d.h. den Zugang zu Display-Fotografien beschränken und regeln. Des Weiteren werden die fotografischen Bildoberflächen selbst als Zugang zu Daten und Informationen untersucht werden, z.B. Screenshots zur Dokumentation von Sachverhalten, (künstlerische) Auseinandersetzungen mit via Display Angebotenem, In-Game-Fotografie und Desktop-Hintergründe.

Chair(s): Winfried Gerling (Fachhochschule Potsdam), Jens Ruchatz (Philipps-Universität Marburg), Daniel Bühler (Brandenburgische Technische Universität Cottbus – Senftenberg)

  • Schirmbilder – Fotografieren im Digitalen
    Winfried Gerling, Fachhochschule Potsdam
  • The Crack in the Bridge
    Lisa Andergassen, Fachhochschule Potsdam
  • Streaming als Ausstellungsdisplay
    Birk Weiberg, Zürcher Hochschule der Künste
  • Fotografie in Schlagwörtern – Die Verwendung von Bilderkennungsalgorithmen zur Gewährleistung blinden-gerechter Displays
    Carolin Anda, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig

Das Panel-Programm mit Vortrags-Abstracts:

CFP: Symposium „Pointed or Pointless? Recalibrating the Index“ – PART II

Pointed or Pointless? Recalibrating the Index II

Day 2 – Potsdam: 4th November 2017

A conference and forum on the index in contemporary photography and image-based practice, theory and culture.

The symposium “Pointed or Pointless? Recalibrating the Index” aims to reconsider the notion of the index, its history and present-day applicability. Some recent debates – which abandon strict definitions of analogue/digital and scrutinize fixed notions of truth and medium – are taken as an opportunity to readdress the notion in the 21st century.

Further information see here.

Potsdam, Brandenburg Center for Media Studies
Proposal Deadline: 11th September 2017
Notification of acceptance: 22th September 2017

The first event was recorded and webcast. Priority for Potsdam papers will be given to abstracts that build on or respond to papers from the London event as part of their research.

Organizing Committee:
Lisa Andergassen (Fachhochschule Postdam)
Paulius Petraitis (Middlesex University)
Damian Sutton (Coventry University)