Conference Image Net/Works

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 political­economic systems.

Photographic media have become central to the productive activities of today’s digital economy. Discourses around immaterial and digital labour have attempted to develop new models to address increasingly complex modes of production tied to global digital networks. Various approaches in media theory 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 HSLU Post­Photography research project. It will take place in the context of the exhibition SITUATIONS/To look is to labor (opening 7 December at 6 pm).


10:00–10:15 Welcome and introduction

10:15–11:00 Nicolas Malevé, “Machine Glancing”
11:00–11:45 Olga Moskatova, “Living Photographs: On Parasitic GIF(t) Economies”
11:45–12:30 Yanai Toister, “Photography: Love’s Labour’s Lost”

12:30–13:45 Lunch break

13:45–14:30 Rowan Lear, “A Profitable Habit: Photographing as Second Nature and Reproductive Labour”
14:30–15:15 Marco De Mutiis, “The Photographer as Player as Worker”

15:15–15:45 Coffee break

15:45–16:30 Jonathan Beller, “The Derivative Condition”
16:30–17:15 Ingrid Hölzl, “IMAGE­-TRANSACTION: The Image as a Lure”
17:15–18:00 Sebastian Schmieg, “Humans As Software Extension”

Conference Programme

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