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With newly commissioned essays by some of the leading writers on photography today, this companion tackles some of the most pressing questions about photography theory’s direction, relevance and purpose.
This book shows how digital technologies and global dissemination have radically advanced the pluralism of photographic meaning and fundamentally transformed photography theory. Having assimilated the histories of semiotic analysis and post-structural theory, critiques of representation continue to move away from the notion of original and copy and towards materiality, process and the interdisciplinary. The implications of what it means to ‘see’ an image is now understood to encompass, not only the optical, but the conceptual, ethical and haptic experience of encountering an image. The "fractal" is now used to theorize the new condition of photography as an algorithmic medium and leads us to reposition our relationship to photographs and lend nuances to what essentially underlies any photography theory ― that is the relationship of the image to the real world and how we conceive what that means.
Diverse in its scope and themes, The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory is an indispensable collection of essays and interviews for students, researchers and teachers. The volume also features extensive images, including beautiful colour plates of key photographs.
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Mark Durden is an artist, writer and academic. He has written extensively on contemporary art and photography. Recent books include Fifty Key Writers on Photography (2012) and Photography Today (2014). With Ian Brown and David Campbell, Durden regularly exhibits as part of the artist group Common Culture. With Campbell he also recently co-curated a number of substantial exhibitions on art and comedy: Double Act (Bluecoat, Liverpool and the MAC, Belfast in 2016) and The Laughable Enigma of Ordinary Life (Arquipélago, centro de artes contemporâneas, São Miguel in 2017). Durden is currently Professor of Photography and Director of the European Centre for Documentary Research at the University of South Wales, UK.
Jane Tormey is an Honorary Fellow of Loughborough University. Her writing focuses on the exchange of ideas between art practice and other disciplines, the conflict between aesthetics and political content, and the ways in which aesthetic traditions can be disturbed by and through photographic/filmic practices. Published work includes: "The Ghost in the Image" in Boelderl, Leisch-Kiesl (eds.) Die Zukunft gehört den Phantomen ([transcript], 2018); Photographic Realism: late twentieth century aesthetics (2013) and Cities and Photography (2012). She is co-editor of Art, Politics and the Pamphleteer and the book series RadicalAesthetics-RadicalArt.
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