On the verge of photography


Publication date: 30.09.2013. Publisher: ARTicle Press. ISBN 9781873352021

Cover Image: Igor Vasiliev
To buy “On the Verge of Photography” click here.
From the back cover:

On The Verge of Photography: Imaging Beyond Representation is a provocative and bold rethinking of photography in light of the digital transformation and its impact on fine art, culture and society. Addressing the centrality of the digital image to our contemporary life, the fourteen new essays in this collection challenge the traditional categories of photographic theory – that of representation, evidence, documentation and the archive – and offer a fresh approach to its impact on aesthetics, contemporary philosophy and the political. Drawing on the networked human condition of embodiment, social-media, and bio-politics, On the Verge of Photography offers an invaluable resource for students of visual culture, researchers in the field of digital imaging and artists working with new media.


“Reading this extraordinary book it becomes clear that so much of what we knew or thought we knew about photography is at one and the same time accurate and obsolete. With digital photography the image can no longer be discussed or defined for what it is conventionally assumed to be – a distinct visual unit. This is not a crisis, claim the editors of this timely volume, but an opportunity to step away from the representational terminology that has over-determined the discourse of photography in order to address the image’s actual modes of being and becoming: being digitally-born, constantly transmitted, mutated and shared. When images are “digitally networked” they cannot be isolated and viewed as distinct or unique. This book is a must read for anyone who shares with the authors collected in it an urge to acknowledge the contemporary image as a kind of living organism that intervenes in the world we share not only by and through the ways we share them.”

– Ariella Azoulay, Media/Comparative Literature and Modern Culture, Brown University.


Photography, Humans and Computers

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Beyond Representation:
Photography, Humans & Computers

24—25 May 2012

Centre for Media & Culture Research, London South Bank University
in association with the journal Philosophy of Photography

There is a pressing need to reframe photographic theory to account for the radical reorientation of image production brought about by computer networks.  In a world where air-conditioned server-farms create the real landscape, and where reality is augmented on screens, what do these organizational systems tell us about the ways images operate in network ecologies? As images circulate in the network, acquiring new contexts at each instance, how are we to approach the ontologies of the digital image?

Beyond Representation considers the current fate of photography in digital culture and aims to advance our understanding of the contemporary state-of-play through a call for transdisciplinary contributions that will help to reconsider approaches to photography within networked cultures.

The conference considers whether there is a need to rethink spatiality and temporality in light of new strategies for mediating the world through photography.  Furthermore it asks whether  there is a need to examine the paradigm of representation in the face of digital code and computer metadata.  We are calling for new speculations, theory, analysis and provocationsto help reframe photographic theory and our understandings of the utility, temporality and circulation of digital images.

This conference aims to locate new ways of interrogating the relationship of theory and technology.It makes an open call for contributions that enlarge our understanding of photography and address the question of the materiality of the online image. Cutting across disciplinary borders, we welcome papers from scholars, researchers, research students, academics, practitioners and curators working in any of the areas below. The organizers are keen to encourage transdisciplinary approaches and welcome abstracts from unexpected places of enquiry.

The conference seeks to establish transdisciplinary connections between photography and the following fields of study: Geography, Law, Economics, Criminology, Performance Studies, Cultural Studies, Visual Culture, Image Studies, Sonic/Aural Culture, Philosophy, Computer Science, Science and Technology Studies, Software Studies, Art History, History of Media, Media Archaeology, Post-colonial Studies, Literary Studies, Anthropology.