WAYS OF LOOKING: PHOTOGRAPHY AND THE WRETCHED SCREEN

Reframing Seeing and Knowing in the 21st Century Symposium, 20 February 2016.

In this paper I examine the work of John Berger and Hito Steyerl to reconsider how contemporary photography interprets and represents recent history in an age of fragmented images.

Symposium information:

The act of seeing and looking has many layers. Who is doing the looking and why? What is being seen? How is this being communicated? How might this translate into knowing?

With John Berger’s ground breaking work, Ways of Seeing, now in its 44th year, what is it that we bring to seeing and knowing in the 21st century that is new? How might cultural, social and historical perspectives, technology, accessibility and scientific or art informed innovation contribute to interpretation of what is being seen? In a time when ‘media snacking’ on a constant stream of online visual images and text based information is the norm, what, if anything, has shifted in the way we see and know?

How do these ideas impact how we see and perceive objects, art works, archives and other materials in cultural spaces? Do such acts of seeing contribute to changing perspectives?