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Re-Thinking Photobooks

Media Constellations in Media Constellations

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Published on Monday, October 10, 2022

Abstract

This workshop will broaden the outlook on photobooks, beyond the canonical understanding of the term, by engaging with a wide variety of books with photographs: photojournalistic and/or thematic monographs, popular book series, coffee-table books, celebratory retrospective volumes, historical (re)collections, manuals, and the like. It will also endeavor to situate the history of the photobook at the intersection of multiple media (with or against which it manifests its medial identity, evolving and changing over time) rather than as a stand-alone genre. Instead, we strive to understand the photobook as an object constituted by media constellations, tying medially diverse content—different kinds of images and writings, drawing on what is technologically available at a given time—and combining it into meaningfully arranged double pages by ways of the layout.

Announcement

Presentation

This workshop will broaden the outlook on photobooks, beyond the canonical understanding of the term, by engaging with a wide variety of books with photographs: photojournalistic and/or thematic monographs, popular book series, coffee-table books, celebratory retrospective volumes, historical (re)collections, manuals, and the like. It will also endeavor to situate the history of the photobook at the intersection of multiple media (with or against which it manifests its medial identity, evolving and changing over time) rather than as a stand-alone genre. Instead, we strive to understand the photobook as an object constituted by media constellations, tying medially diverse content—different kinds of images and writings, drawing on what is technologically available at a given time—and combining it into meaningfully arranged double pages by ways of the layout. In turn, the publication of photographs in book form also productively refers to their surrounding constellated media cultures, ranging from magazines to audiovisual media such as film and television, all of which are taken up, remediated, or contrasted in and through photographic booksWe will explore how both seminal and/or understudied examples have contributed to the structure and history of the “photobook format” as it relates to other forms and genres. We aim to carve out how the photobook crafts a – dynamic – medial identity of its own in this intermedial network. By addressing the photobook as a media constellation in media constellations, the workshop suggests that what distinguishes the photobook as an object of photo-historical inquiry is its very intermedial history.

To foster exchanges on the topic beyond the workshop itself, a book of abstracts, including the contact information for all participants, will be made available, upon request at alice.morin@uni-marburg.de.

Organisation

Organised by the project 5 of the DFG Research Unit 2288 Journal Literature, with the Visual Studies Research Institute at the University of California, and hosted by the Deutschen Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg (DDK)

Programme

Thursday, October 13th, 2022

19:00 Welcome & registration

20:00  Welcome dinner (sponsored by USC VSRI)

Friday, October 14th, 2022 

9:30-10:30

Opening session (Alice Morin, Jens Ruchatz, Vanessa Schwartz)

Discussion of the selected readings

Coffee break

11:00-13:00:  Composition

Respondent Vanessa Schwartz (University of Southern California, VSRI)

  • Paul Edwards (Université Paris Cité/Maison Française d’Oxford) Costumes and Cathedrals: From Lantern-Slide Story-Telling and Kinetic Effects to the Literary Photobook, 1890-1903 
  • Alexander Streitberger (UC Louvain) The Photobook Within and As a Heterogeneous Media Environment

13:00-14:30: Lunch

14:30-16:30: Intermedial/In-Between Identities

Respondent Vincent Fröhlich (Philipps-Universität, Marburg)

  • Mareike Stoll (Weißensee School of Art and Design, Berlin/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) Connective Tissue and Friction in Photobooks: Constellations of Epistemological Exchange
  • Michel Hardy-Vallée (Concordia University) Institutional Intermediality: A Trifecta of Multi-Support Works from the Still Photography Division

Coffee break

17:00-19:00: Format And Its Afterlives

Respondent Jens Ruchatz (Philipps-Universität, Marburg)

  • Allan Doyle (Parsons School of Design, The New School) Physique Education: US Bodybuilding Photobooks of the 1950s & 1960s
  • Ellen Handy (City University of New York) Changing New York in Context: Photobooks, Viewbooks, Souvenir Books, Guidebooks

19:30: Dinner

Saturday, October 15th, 2022

9:00-11:00: Politics, Advocacy and the Photobook

Respondent Steffen Siegel (Folkwang Universität, Essen)

  • Hubert Locher (Philipps-Universität, Marburg) A Photo Book, or a Book with Photographs? Peter Blake’s God’s Own Junkyard (1964)
  • Ralf Michael Fisher (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen/Museum Langenargen) Cultural-Diagnostic and Political-Critical "Songs" of the Desert and the Border - Richard Misrach's Photobooks as Media Constellations

Coffee break

11:30-13:30: News Images in The Political Photobook

Respondent Kathrin Yacavone (Philipps-Universität, Marburg)

  • Katharina Jörder (Freie Universität Berlin) The Architect of Apartheid in the Photobook. A Case Study on Photobiographies
  • Steven Samols (University of Southern California) Ruth Gruber’s Destination Palestine: Legitimizing Israel through a Photobook

13:30-15:00: Lunch

15:00-17:00: The Logic and Pictorial Economy of the Series

Respondent Alice Morin (Philipps-Universität, Marburg)

  • Josh Ellenbogen (University of Pittsburgh) & Adam Jolles (Florida State University)“Ghetto Chaos”: Minority Education, Photobooks, and Kodak’s Visual Literacy Program
  • Jayson Lantz (University of Southern California) Iconographic Microcosmos: Petite Planète and the “gens d’images” at Seuil

17:00-18:00 Closing Round-table

Places

  • Marburg, Federal Republic of Germany

Event attendance modalities

Full on-site event


Date(s)

  • Thursday, October 13, 2022
  • Saturday, October 15, 2022
  • Friday, October 14, 2022

Keywords

  • intermediality, photobook, media, photography, visual culture

Contact(s)

  • Alice Morin
    courriel : alice [dot] morin [at] uni-marburg [dot] de

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Alice Morin
    courriel : alice [dot] morin [at] uni-marburg [dot] de

License

CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Re-Thinking Photobooks », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, October 10, 2022, https://doi.org/10.58079/19ph

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