6 > 8 July 2011
In the course of the 1990s the new technologies—and more specifically the Internet and the digital revolution—triggered an ongoing restructuring of our sensory and mental environment. The fresh practices that were quick to take shape in the real and virtual domains went hand in hand with all kinds of upheavals and new issues:obliteration of the boundaries between information, advertising and art; market deregulation; far-reaching technological change; and industrial / economic approaches combining the work of amateurs as well as professionals.
At the same time the Internet made art the core of a nexus involving artists, computer specialists, technical systems and the public. What emerged was a more collective and interdisciplinary art practice, often with its roots in the Internet and social networks. The digital revolution, the new media and innovative forms of creation, narration, production, circulation and storage offered photography fresh sources of documentation, reflection and origination. Sites like Flickr, Second Life, Myspace, Wikipedia and YouTube stimulate a culture of sharing and in the image sphere have built up functions conducive to exchange and interaction. The goal is not to stockpile content, but to turn it into nodes for conversation and circulation. These features add up to a coherent system of socialisation of images. Out of this principle of content collectivisation has come a new state of the image as common property.The effective value of the image today lies in being shareable, which means that photographers, via the new networks and the Internet, are exploring the imprint of the real in a different way. By building their images out of a new, digital reality, artists are confronting the old boundaries, in some cases blocking them out and in others breaking through them. They are now using digital tools not only as a means for challenging both meaning and form, but also for raising questions to do with image objectivity.
At the same time it must be remembered that photographers, and creators of still images in general, are one of the categories most severely affected by the Internet in copyright terms: the problems being cut & paste downloading, massive commercial exploitation of their work by companies immune to legal action, and the steadily increasing growth of ‘copyright exempt’ online image banks .The symposium will also delve into photography’s relationship with the new sources represented by the Internet and the social networks, which have yet to find their place in the writing of history. This is a situation that calls for hard thinking about their possible inputs and their limitations. How has the Internet modified the image economy? What further changes lie in wait for images, and what will be their impact on tomorrow’s society and our perception of reality? What new uses are taking shape in the realm of photography? How are the social networks influencing creativity? What form is the emergence of an Internet-based art scene taking? What are the forces driving art in this context? What does it mean to be a creative artist? What forms of exhibition and viewer reception are evolving?
Overall direction by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, president of Rencontres
and François Hébel, director of the Rencontres.
Organized by Françoise Docquiert,
lecturer at Université de Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne.
Moderator: Pierre Haski, director of Rue 89.
Wednesday 6 July, 10 am to 1 pm / The Image Economy
How Internet changed our point of view on images? How photography, its broadcast and economy have changed because and thanks to those new medias?
Opening by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, chairman, lecturer at the École des Sciences Politiques de Paris, media historian specialised in the relationship between photography and the Internet;
André Gunthert, researcher at the EHESS, director of the Laboratoire d’histoire visuelle contemporaine (Lhivic), editor of Culture Visuelle L’image fluide;
David Campbell, photography consultant, writer, award-winning multimedia producer, and member of the Durham Centre for Advanced Photography Studies at Durham University;
Frank Evers, founder of INSTITUTE, a management company representing leading visual artists, president of Evergreen Pictures, a production company serving clients in the broadcast, commercial and cultural fields;
Karim Ben Khelifa, photographer, founding member of the website www.emphas.is.