[SIGCIS-Members] CfP: After Post-Photography 8 (June 1-3, 2023)

Friedrich Tietjen ft at mur.at
Mon Mar 13 07:17:33 PDT 2023

   Dear SIGCIS,
find below the call for papers for the After Post-Photography  
conference I'm happy to co-organize. If any of you does research on  
the history of digital cameras, scanners, AI-based image generation,  
photorealism in video-games or similar subjects we'd be delighted to  
receive your papers. And if you happen to know colleagues in that line  
of research, please fwd the CfP to them. Any questions, drop me a  
line. Many greetings


CFP: After Post-Photography 8 - Presence and Absence
International conference on visual studies, history and theory of photography
Deadline for submissions: 30 March 2023
Conference date: 1-3 June 2023, European University (St. Petersburg,  
Russia // online)

Presence, as a category, is crucial for understanding photography.  
Since its early days, photography’s specificity as a medium and as a  
form of visual experience has been described in terms of presence. The  
first exuberant accounts of daguerreotype, aside from praising  
detailed and accurate representation, highlighted a peculiar viewer’s  
feeling of being present in the depicted space. Further on, viewing a  
stereophotograph was experienced as an almost physical immersion, a  
stereoscope and a pair of images being a “portal” into an imaginary  
world. The experience of presence associated with photography is at  
the intersection of the rational and the magical, the material and the  
visual. The mystical ideas related to pseudoscience: that of  
“grasping” physical emanations, shadows, invisible energies – stem  
from rationalistic understanding of ​​photography as a tool for  
cognition, documentation of real world phenomena, and photographic  
images as directly connected with objects. The feeling of presence of  
people and objects depicted in the photograph is also mystical to an  
extent. The practice of wearing photographic portraits of loved ones  
in wallets, pendants, and, more recently, on the screensavers of  
mobile phones secures a symbolic presence and connection at a distance  
- not only through sight, but also through touch. 
The category of “presence” is productive in relation to the  
photographer's figure as well: especially in the mid-XX century  
documentary photography, physical presence in the vicinity of an event  
was regarded as a sort of confirmation of authenticity and authority,  
and to witness something in-person meant gaining stronger grounds in  
debates concerning ethics and social responsibility.
As institutional and social histories develop, researchers question  
forms of visual agency: what are the conditions of becoming visible  
and gaining presence in the general picture of the world? Photographic  
presence and absence can happen in a lot of different ways.  
Photographic images can be applied to highlight, generate, select and  
obscure persons, objects, events and relations; they can render them  
special, ordinary, normal or boring. While society treats photographic  
image as a valid representative of someone or something absent, the  
notion of presence is of high social and political importance. And the  
practices of selection, composition, contextualizing and fragmenting  
performed by artists, curators or algorithms are far from neutral and  
directly impact our life.
In light of the events of 2022-2023 it is most valid to interpret  
“presence” as a form of political pressure, an impact on the balance  
of power, and, on the other hand, as a bizarre form of  
participation-at-a-distance in the life of a family or community.  
Presence and absence can be understood both positively and negatively:  
presence could mean both representation and imposition of one's will,  
and absence can signify vital omissions, as well as indifference. We  
invite potential speakers to reflect on these and many other questions  
related to these two categories. 
Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
     • The image is the real thing: Photographic replacements
     • Skype and Zoom: Visual telepresence and other panoptical experiences
     • This can't be me: Non-representation through photography
     • Mobile presence: The smartphone as representation of the self
     • Photographic decay: What do faded photographs tell?
     • Technical blindness - what photography can't see or show
     • Photographic media and their audiences
     • You'll only see this once: Technical ephemerality
     • Photographs of what never has been: Retouching, rendering and  
other technologies of photo-realism
 As it was the case with previous conferences however, After  
Post-Photography is driven by a general curiosity in subjects of  
photography. Thus, there is only ground rule for submitting a paper to  
After Post-Photography: If you‘re doing Sociology, Nuclear Physics,  
Ethnology, Computer Sciences, Gender Studies, Meteorology, Law, Memory  
Studies, Criminology, Architecture, Archaeology, Botany, Mathematics,  
Numismatics, Astronomy, Game Studies, Oenology, Art History or any  
other discipline from science and humanities and your research  
involves photography in the broadest sense, we are happy to receive  
your paper. Please submit your application, including a short summary  
of your paper (250-400 words) only in English no later than March 30,  
2023. Use the following link:  
https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=app8 ; do not send submissions  
per eMail. Note that you need to register at the Easychair website in  
order to submit your application. Should you like to get in touch with  
us prior to your submission, please write to app at mur.at.
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 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 After Post Photography 8: Maria Gourieva, Olga  
Davydova, Daria Panaiotti, Friedrich Tietjen
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