JAAC CFP: special issue on the philosophy of photography

The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism is seeking papers for a special issue, guest edited by Diarmuid Costello (University of Warwick) and Dominic McIver Lopes (University of British Columbia), on the philosophy of photography. Deadline for submission of papers is January 10, 2011. Below is a brief description of the proposed issue, which includes a link to the call for papers, as well as a link to the text of the full special issue proposal. Even those who have no intention of submitting essays for this special issue might find the proposal worth reading.

Three overlapping events occasion this proposal for a special issue of the JAAC on the philosophy of photography.

First, photography has matured as a visual art medium. No longer confined to specialist galleries, distribution networks, discourses, or educational programs, it has won mainstream institutional recognition – fine art museums increasingly mount major retrospectives of contemporary photographers’ work, and many of those museums now appoint curators of photography.

Second, the boundary between photographic and non-photographic visual art has blurred, as lens-based technologies have found a home in a wide range of art practices from painting and theater through sculptural installation to conceptual art. Photography has become one more means at artists’ disposal; it is no longer just for photographers.

Third, the rapid, ongoing development of digital imaging technologies is profoundly reshaping how photographs are made and displayed, and hence appreciated, while at the same time creating new venues for displaying photographs outside traditional art institutions. Taken together this conjunction of events raises fundamental philosophical questions about photography as an art and an aesthetic phenomenon.

The proposed special issue is intended to address these questions by bringing them under a unifying theme: ‘The Media of Photography.’

For an overview of the kind of questions we hope the special will address see the call for papers. Potential contributors are also strongly encouraged to read the full special issue proposal.


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