How Photographs Exist
This seminar looks at photography's place in everyday life since the mid-twentieth century, with a particular focus on the materiality of photographs--on photographs as things, and the lives they lead. The course surveys the diverse physical forms photographs have taken in recent history: images made of silver, ink, and pixels, and experienced as prints, transparencies, projections, and screens--radio photographs and Viewmaster discs alongside smartphone screens and the rebirth of instant film. But we'll also attend to the social settings that these images call home: family slideshows and flea markets as well as social media, server farms, or Musumeci vs. Department of Homeland Security. Our challenge is to understand the way these forms and contexts shape our experiences as viewers, users, and lovers of images. How do the material qualities of photographs affect our daily interactions with pictures? What has changed--and what hasn't--in the transition to digital technologies? Direct examination of materials in university repositories. Individual and collaborative writing projects and small practical assignments.
Estimated cost of materials: $50 or more, but less than $100. D. 4