Starting in October and continuing through November 2016, our colleagues at CRASSH will be presenting a series of seminars on the theme of Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen. The seminars are open to all, and no registration is required.
Created in 2001, the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) supports, promotes and conducts interdisciplinary research of the highest order. Located at the heart of the humanities campus, the Centre's managed research programme produces annually over 250 events a year, with 25 conferences, 14 graduate and faculty research groups, Humanitas Visiting Professors, and longer term interdisciplinary research projects. The regular work-in-progress seminar for fellows – external and internal visiting fellows – contributes to the lively atmosphere of intellectual exchange.
About Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen:
The promise of mechanical and digital visual technologies is often assumed to originate in their ability to render the invisible visible, hence contributing to the wider de-mystification constitutive of modernity. This Seminar will approach a key technology in this respect, photography, from an angle that seeks to explore the extent to which it (and by extension other similar technologies) is also involved in a far more nuanced and complex epistemological and ontological operation of transforming the invisible into the “unseen”, in the sense of deepened marking of human consciousness by the felt consequential and unsettling presence of something out of view. Recent literature on photographic techniques and practices, ranging from visual studies, history, anthropology, and science and technology studies have illuminated ways in which the symbolic and epistemic efficacy of photography derives not simply from its power of revealing what is hidden in the world, but equally from configuring a series of phenomena, events or forms as lying “at the edge of sight” (Smith 2013). Hence, at the same time as it stabilizes vision by showing what was hitherto imperceptible, photography also amplifies the experience of “imperceptibility” itself, by revealing human interaction with the world to be structured around irreducible visual blind spots. The Seminar will bring together scholars from diverse disciplines who are in various ways exploring this dialectic of the simultaneous stabilization of vision and expansion of the unseen, and who are documenting how photography's generative suspension between invisibility and the unseen shapes different “fields of vision” in the contemporary world. Focused on aesthetic, affective, semantic, evidential, and political aspects of the topic and their entanglements, the Seminar will foster critical, interdisciplinary approaches and dialogue on a key theoretical area of photography studies today.
Introduction to Seminar Series :
19 October 2016, 2.30-4.30pm. Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building
(at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
Title TBC :
02 November 2016, 2.30-4.30pm. Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building.
Anita Herle (Cambridge,) (at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
Unseen therefore Untold: Notes from the Architectural Press Archive :
09 November 2016, Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building.
Marco Luliano (Liverpool), (at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
Intimacy and the participatory 'plongée': Henri Gaden, West Africa, 1894-1939 :
16 November 2016, 2.30-4.30pm. Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building (at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
Roy Dilley (St Andrews), (at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
Photographs, Monuments and Making of 'Public Histories': Britain, 1850-1930 :
30 November 2016, 2.30-4.30pm. Seminar room SG2, Alison Richard Building.
Elizabeth Edwards FBA (at Photography between Invisibility and the Unseen)
For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
N.B. In 2017 Shutter Hub will be curating an exhibition with the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge.