Helsinki Photomedia 2018
The Fourth International Photography Research Conference
Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
March 26-28 2018

Reconsidering the “Post-truth Condition”: Epistemologies of the photographic image

Call for papers:

Contemporary photography takes place in a world where the relation between facts and values is a social and political issue which has repercussions in art and education as well. The public discussions on information warfare, fake news and manipulated media contents have shaken the epistemology of news media and generally revitalized the questions of trustfulness of media representations. Problematic statements about the ‘post-truth condition’ symptomatically reflect this situation and pose new challenges to our understanding of the epistemology of the photographic image.

It is vital to reconsider the ‘post-truth condition’ as a discursive and imaginary formation. This implies that its claims cannot be taken at face value. At the same time, however, as a socially seducing phenomenon, it arranges new settings for old questions of photographic knowledge, authenticity, veracity and truthfulness. It postulates a political and social terrain where photographic images circulate and participate in the formation of socially efficient visual knowledge.

Hence, the controversial notion of post-truth actualizes questions of the quality of photographic information, knowledge and data. Rich in detail, photographs are able to communicate in a constative, laconic manner. Photographs are “dense data” and their mute appearances are malleable material for various information structures.

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Proposed and accepted paper based on DRIB as case - with associate professor Synne Skjulstad

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