International conference on visual studies, history and theory of photography
AFTER POST-PHOTOGRAPHY 9
11-13 April 2024, European University at St. Petersburg, Russia/ online
Call for papers
Do We Really Need Photography Any Longer?
In early summer 2023, everyone and their dog went crazy about AI—this was the next technological revolution that was going to happen (after some that didn’t or silently petered out). It was expected that every job producing texts or images would be completely transformed within the next decade. Obviously, this would also affect photography, and the AI tools already available to generate, animate, and edit images are indeed quite impressive and have led to renewed anxieties about a further erosion of what photography stands for and is used for: a somewhat reliable depiction of the visual world.
This erosion, however, is hardly news. In fact, doubts about the veracity of photographic depictions are about as old as the medium itself. And while some of the audiovisual media we’re exposed to are new in many ways—deep fakes, photo-realistic video games, geolocated drone footage, 3D photographic prints, augmented reality, and many others—the questions following in their footsteps are old: How do the images we perceive as photographic earn the implicit trust that we—and generations before us—place in them? And why does it seem so hard if this trust is taken away again?
For APP 9, we would like to invite you to think with us about why, despite its ambivalent relation to it, photography apparently remains an essential ingredient of the modern, post-modern, and future worlds. We’re interested in the manifold uses, materials, and audiences it has, in the reasonings that question its authority, and in those that bolster it. We wonder if there are media that might replace photography and, of course, what photography is beyond the image.
And of course, we would love to hear from you if you do any other research in the field of photography that is new or weird or explores neglected subjects or dead media. And if you are interested in radiologists’ photo competitions, astrophotographic expeditions in the 19th century, private photography in Latin America, the prehistory of digital filters, mistaken uses of photography in TV series such as CSI, journalistic photography in the 1990s in Russia, or home movie shows in Austria or Australia, we would be curious what you have to say. In the end, we might realize that we still need photography for one reason or another, if only as the most interesting subject of research there is.
Please submit your application in the form of short summary of your paper (250-400 words preferably as .docx) in English no later than January 15, 2024, to email@example.com. As we are doing a blind review of the submissions, make sure that your paper does not include your name. Please do repeat the title of your paper in the subject line of your email. Should you have any questions prior to your submission, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org .
There is no participation fee for the conference, neither for speakers nor for guests; should you like to support the conference however, let us know. Within the current situation, traveling options are impossible to predict which is why we plan for a hybrid conference.
The working languages of the conference are Russian and English, and during the conference, both the papers and discussions will be translated. For programs of After Post-Photography conferences since 2015, please see www.after-post.photography . We would sincerely appreciate it if you would circulate the call to your own networks and other mailing lists.
Organizing committee: Maria Gourieva, Olga Davydova, Daria Panaiotti, Friedrich Tietjen