After Post-Photography 2019

The dates for the upcoming, fifth After Post-Photography are 23-25 May 2019, at the European University in St. Petersburg. 

Conference schedule is here

Our keynote speakers this year are: 
Fred Ritchin (International Center of Photography, New York) 
Galina Orlova (Higher School of Ecomonics, Moscow) 
Gil Pasternak (DeMontfort University, UK) 
Andres Zervigon (Rutgers University, USA) 
Helen Petrovsky (Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow)

We are very much looking forward to all of this! 

Attendance of and entrance to conference is free. 
More news to follow.

Lecture by David Bate

David Bate: The Optics of the Data Flow
16 May, 18:00
European University in St.Petersburg

We are happy to announce that the conference After Post-Photography 4 (APP 4) will be opened with keynote lecture by David Bate. Renown as an artist, theorist and Professor at the University of Westminster (London, UK), Bate is the author of “Photography: Key Concepts” and “Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent”. In his talk at APP4, David will discuss the role the forms, processes and aesthetics of analogue photography play under the conditions of digital photography. He also suggests that with the dominance of wide angle lenses in smartphones, the “retinal ideology of realism” depend on a new normal.

See the full program of Conference

David Bate is a photo-artist and theorist based in London, UK. His many writings include the books Photography: Key Concepts, second edition (London: Bloomsbury, 2016), Art Photography (London: Tate, 2015) and Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent (I. B. Tauris, 2004). His photographic artworks have been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions, in the UK, Ireland, Europe and North America. His photographic work Zone, set in Estonia and based on Tarkovskiy’s film Stalker was published as a photobook in 2012 (Artwords Press London). He is also a co-founding editor of Photographies journal (Routledge) and currently Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, London, UK.

The widespread use of smart phone cameras and their associated automated processes and uploading of images online have not only intervened in how we see the world, they have also changed how we see the older forms of analogue photography. On the one hand, this disruption triggers nostalgia for a format that some have never used, whilst on the other, those same new forms provide a new format for the visioning of everyday life. What are the effects of these technologies and their shifting platforms on the human body?

As the old photographic industries (e.g. advertising, family, fashion, journalism, police surveillance, tourism and travel, and perhaps art) replicate themselves within the new digital formats and platforms they also mutate their forms and aesthetics in the process. What are the effects of these new forms and formats? How do the new formats affect the perception of what we call the world and its ideological valuation?

Framed within these contexts, this paper looks at the relation between optical technologies and human experience. Drawing on camera phone lens optics, which typically use a wide-angle lens, the paper examines the significance of this often overlooked shift towards wider-angle viewpoint as ‘normal’. In what might be called the retinal ideology of realism, the paper questions the relation of these optics to the data-flows of images. Digital camera optics, adapted from the space of monocular perspective inherited so long ago from the Renaissance and later optical theories, are interrogated as a metaphor of the changing ideological values instituted, developed and organised by human societies within digital culture.

Announcement 2018

In 2018 the conference is scheduled for 16-18 May, parallel program 15-24 May.

Preliminary program is here.


After Post Photography is annual international academic conference on visual, cultural and historical studies in photography. It has been held in St.Petersburg since 2015 and has become a platform for inter-disciplinary dialogue embracing a wide range of topics and methodologies of research of photography and visual culture.
After Post Photography 4 is scheduled in St.Petersburg in May 2018: academic program will take place at the European University, the events on the side program are scheduled at museums and educational venues in St.Petersburg.
See the programs of the conference in previous years:


CFP 2018 Call For Papers

Сultural, Historical and Visual Studies in Photography

16-18 May 2018
European University in St. Petersburg, Russia


Call for papers

That photographic media, in one way or the other, record, depict and represent truth, realities and the past, is a staple. In theory this relation has been called into question, in particular with the advent of digital image manipulation, and the doubts have been extended since to analogue photography, too. Yet despite these doubts the notion of photographs being somewhat true permeates most, if not all, practices with these media: in science and humanities, photographic images replace and represent the object of research; in an ID, the portrait connects a face and a body with a name and other personal data; photographs in family albums and books allow to look back into the past. And though it may have been the reason for recent doubts in photography’s veracity, digital photography thrives on this promise as well: we share meals with our social networks the moment they are served, video telephony lets us talk not only to a voice but a face, and GPS metadata tells us where on Earth we took a certain picture. Moreover, photography is hybridized when the camera in our smartphones becomes a scanner for QR-codes, drones are equipped with face-recognition software, and augmented reality systems transform the material world into a space and surface for digital data.

Under these conditions, photography has ceased to be a specific medium generating still images. It has become a dispositif  in the sense of being a network of applications, institutions, materialisations and theoretical settings such as its privileged relation in representing truth – which, looking back, it has always been. The discussions concerning the re-evaluation of photography, however, usually give most attention to individual pictures as products and as depictions. What we would like to focus upon  with our next conference are the modes of the technical, optical, chemical and social conditions of pre-, post-, mass and over-production, of  the distribution, consumption, circulation and archiving of what is so commonly known as photographs. We welcome in particular submissions concerned with new theoretical and empirical approaches and perspectives on these fields. And we would be delighted to receive papers dealing with rarely researched topics such as photographic optics, photochemistry and the applications of soft- and hardware for generating photorealistic images. We plan to arrange the talks in four panels:

  • Ça eu été?What photography has been and will become.
  • What is needed. The material bases of photography
  • How to use them. Production, dissemination, application and perception of photographic images
  • What else is new? Photographic practices at the fringes of photography.

Please submit your application, including a short summary of your paper (250-400 words) in English using the following link: no later than 20 December 2017. Note that you should register at the Easychair website in order to submit your application. There is no participation fee.

We shall consider the possibility of online participation for a limited number of participants. The working languages of the conference are Russian and English. Conference materials are planned for publication in 2018-2019. For programs of After Post-Photography since 2015 and past publications, please see

We would appreciate it if you would circulate the call to your own networks and other mailing lists.

Organizing committee After Post Photography 4:

Maria Gourieva, Olga Davydova, Natalia Mazur, Daria Panaiotti, Friedrich Tietjen