This studio explores these questions by making, looking at, reading, talking and thinking about photography. ‘Photography’ here is used as a descriptor for diverse technologies and practices based around communicating with light. Photography also changes things in the world – be they viewer perceptions, attitudes, social relations or everyday activities.
Moholy-Nagy’s observation about the importance of photographic literacy still holds water 80 years after it was made – but it needs re-examining in the radically different context of digital and distributed online media.
Today, influential pre-digital ideas about how we ‘read’ and culturally incorporate photography in our lives jostle alongside newer theories that have emerged in the internet era. Contemporary thinking about photography has had to take account of fundamental changes in technologies, practices and contexts – this has destabilized the very idea of ‘the photograph’ and photography as a practice. That uncertainty figures as a lament for some and a creative opportunity for others.
So what combination of intellectual, professional and/or popular literacies are at work in contemporary uses of photography and how might they be applied to your media practice?