Photographic powers : Helsinki Photomedia 2014

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School of Arts, Design and Architecture | C2 Toimitettu kirja, kokoomateos, konferenssijulkaisu tai lehden erikoisnumero
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Aalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE, 9/2015
Helsinki Photomedia is a biennial international conference of Photography Studies established in 2012. It was created to fill a void: there was no regular, international forum for photography studies, like Crossroads is for Cultural Studies or ECREA for Media Studies. This was surprising because there had been lots of new activity in the field of photography studies all over the world. In its current state of rapid transformation and diversification photography showed rich cultural potential, and photography research was gaining new importance. Three new referee journals were launched since 2008: Photographies, Photography & Culture, Philosophy of Photography. Books and articles did abound, and the general high tide of photography definitely required new thinking, new methods and new theories. Helsinki Photomedia started in 2012 with a broad theme: Images in Circulation. Over 140 participants coming from 23 countries proved that there really existed a need for a new international venue for presenting and discussing photography research. The three keynote speakers of this conference were Ariella Azoulay, David Bate and Charlotte Cotton. The variety of topics covered in the first conference was impressive. Terms such as 'expanded image', 'Photography 2.0', 'digital ethos' and 'collaborative turn in contemporary photography' appeared in some papers and presentations, indicating a need for a general diagnosis of the current shift. Some raised more specific questions about current developments in photography. There were analyses of metadata, affordance, curating and self-publishing, and so on. New modes of research, such as 'artistic research', were important elements of the first conference. Photographies published a special issue of the conference (Vol. 6 Issue 1, 2013). The second Helsinki Photomedia in March 2014 was run under the theme Photographic Powers. Again, there were around 130 participants, some for the second time. The keynote speakers were Paul Frosh, Jorge Ribalta and Joanna Zylinska. This publication is based on the papers and presentations delivered in the 2014 conference. After a strict referee process 14 articles were selected for publishing. Meanwhile the preparations for the third Helsinki Photomedia conference in March 2016 are well underway. The theme is Photographic Agencies and Materialities and the keynote speakers are Geoffrey Batchen, Annika von Hausswolff and Liz Wells.
conferences, photography research, photography studies
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