Snapshot culture. The persistence of the photographic experience in post-media aesthetics

Snapshot culture. The persistence of the photographic experience in post-media aesthetics


n. 1/2016 - Edited by Adriano D'Aloia and Francesco Parisi

The contemporary mediascape is characterized by continuous and endless remediation flows that re-shape and hybridize the contents, the forms and the vehicles of visual-based media experience. In such a scenario, over the last years photography has gained a central role in negotiating between the need for innovation propelled by digital media and the persistence of its original nature and purposes. On the one hand, the advent of photo-sharing websites and social networks, photography apps for mobile devices, portable hybrid devices for photo and video (e.g. GoPro), set the field for the emergence of new experimental and non-professional media practices that have progressively reshaped the spatiotemporal and sociocultural boundaries of the photographic image. The recent development of photographic devices, technologies and practices created a backfire effect on institutional forms of photographic communication (e.g. photojournalism, auteur photography, art exhibition, travel photography, reportage, camera and film market). On the other hand, such mutations caused a “crisis” of photography theory, since the hypothesis by which the digital transformation of the mediascape would have changed the uses and the ontology of photography, seems to be rebutted, for the latter continues to fulfil the same original concerns: the representation/identification of the self (and the other); the documentation, investigation and reinvention of reality; the poetic discovering of the hidden side of the world; the archiving of individual and collective memories; the crystallization of time and space. In brief, whereas the digital deposed device-content indivisibility, the photographic medium still hold its specificity of the experience and practices (rather than technologies) it enables and the cultural needs it implies and caters to.

Given these premises, the digitalization of photographic aesthetics and related media practices is an elective case 1) to study some of the most challenging mutations in contemporary visual culture and, more broadly, in media culture; 2) to reflect on the reception of such challenges in the field of photography theory. Consequently, this CS special issue aims to critically investigate the “persistence” of the photographic medium through 1) the analysis of concrete objects and phenomena, and 2) the refinement of theoretical approaches to photography, in both cases with particular attention to the aesthetic and phenomenological dimensions of the present-days photographic experience.

Objects of analysis and theoretical reflection may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Think. Philosophy of photography, photography and cognitive sciences, semiotics of photography, art history and photography, etc.
  • Exchange. Cinema and photography, painting and photography, etc.
  • Share. Social networks and websites
  • Edit. Professional photo-editing apps for mobile devices
  • Store. Software, technologies and procedures of archiving
  • Organize. Tagging, hashtagging, etc.
  • Shoot. Selfies, Landscapes, etc.
  • Time. Animated Gif, time-lapse, etc.
  • Antiquise. Vintage filters and nostalgic practices
  • Extend.Selfie stick, wide-angles, helmet cams, etc.

Deadlines & Guidelines

Please send your abstract to both the editors Adriano D’Aloia ( and Francesco Parisi ( by March 15, 2015. Notifications of acceptance will be emailed shortly after the deadline. Abstracts must be from 300 to 400 words long, and may be presented in English. The proposal shall include 5 keywords, authors, institution, and contacts (e-mail), together with a short curriculum for each author.

In case the proposal is accepted, authors will be asked to send the whole article by June 20, 2015. Contributions will be sent to two independent reviewers in a double-blind procedure prior to publication decision. Articles should be of between 4,000-5,000 words in length (no more than 35,000 characters, spaces and notes included), but shorter articles will be considered.


CfP CS Photography.pdf

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