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קול קורא // לכנס: צילום והפוליטיקה של קרקע ושימוש בנתונים [ניקוסיה 11/20] דדליין=15.5.20

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IN/VISIBLE LANDSCAPES: Photography and the Politics of Land and Data-Use

Mediated by remote sensing and other post-photographic technologies, the actual landscapes we inhabit dissolve into landscapes of electromagnetic waves and clouds of data storage. Obscured, however, in this remote kind of vision is the alignment with the various uses and misuses of space on the ground. This observation not only comes to affirm the long-held idea that landscape is a construct linked with exercises of power and identity, it also points to current reflections which remind us that the sustainability of new technologies and their economies of immateriality depend on the extraction of value from sites across the world through practices such as rare-earth and deep-sea mining. Yet, we seldom reflect on digital technology’s effect on the environment or think about how the visible landscapes of exploitation it produces are the underlying structure of invisible landscapes of codes and signals, where new forms of civic and commercial activities, warfare, territorial control and corporate/state governance are being cultivated. As observed, earth mining finds here its digital equivalent in practices of data ‘harvesting’ and ‘mining’. If these are the landscapes of our era, how are they negotiated, examined and questioned in uses of photography? A medium traditionally linked with notions of bearing witness and bringing into view that which remains unseen, photography has its own history in relation to the convergence of the visible with the invisible. Taking into consideration the medium’s migration to other materials, media and technologies, what kind of modes of representation are generated and what practices of photography are suggested in visual negotiations of the in/visible landscapes we inhabit? In what ways do practitioners articulate our current condition from a point of criticality in order to reveal the flows of power, the territorial politics and identities, the dynamics of place and space and the various erasures and misconducts at once evident and hidden?

The 2020 International Conference of Photography and Theory (ICPT 2020) attends to these questions by adopting a multidisciplinary perspective and welcoming contributions from scholars, researchers, artists and creative practitioners, working in different fields, including photography, contemporary art, visual sociology, anthropology, philosophy, art history, curatorial studies, visual and media studies, filmmaking and education. Submitted proposals for presentations should address, but not be limited to one or more of the following topics:


  • Photography and the landscapes of extraction

  • Photography and forensic landscapes

  • Photography and the landscapes of global capitalism

  • Photography and environmental change

  • The ‘eco-aesthetics’ of photography

  • Climate crisis and the iconic function of photography

  • Photography and the trauma of climate crisis

  • Climate crisis activism and post-photographic technologies and networks

  • Photographs of climate crisis and responsibility

  • Photographs of climate crisis and affect/sensory experience

  • The visual culture of landscape transformation under colonialism

  • Photography, gender politics and the environment

  • Photography, race and the environment

  • Photography and dispossession

  • Photography and contested landscapes and identities

  • Photography and the politics of the commons

  • Photography and cultivating new cultures of commoning

  • Photography and the dynamics of place and space

  • Photography and indigenizing/decolonising the landscape

  • Photography and salvaging local knowledge

  • Photography and resisting appropriation of indigenous forms of knowledge

  • Photography and radical gardening

  • Photography and cultivating alternative ecologies

  • Photography and revisiting the rural

  • Photography and collaborative survival

  • Photography and unsettling the human-earth dichotomy


  • The geography of the internet and ‘the cloud’ made visible

  • Photography and exposing the infrastructure of data collection systems

  • Photography and exposing the politics of facial recognition technologies

  • Alternative uses of forms of surveillance and data collection

  • Photography and exposing the politics of territorial control

  • The spatial and data erasure of communities

  • Data collection and colonial methods of extracting information

  • Data-visualization technologies and community survival

  • Situated testimonies and post-photographic technologies and networks

  • Images as data

  • Data as images

  • Images as contested/forensic evidence

  • Data mining and documentary resistance

  • Collaborative photographic practices and data collection

  • Images as data and the writing of history

  • The anti-narrative nature of mechanically generated images

  • Authenticity and manipulation technologies

  • Authorship and the proliferating methods of image production

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