Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WHAT'S NEXT? A search into the future of photography

FOAM Amsterdam have recently launched a new site, a platform for reflection and inquiry into the future of photography. For some answers they have asked experts such as Erik Kessels, Thomas Ruff, Fred Ritchin, Alec Soth, Jörg Colberg and Joan Fontcuberta, to name just a few, to give their views.

FOAM have this to say. The question 'What's Next?' is founded in our conviction that photography has fundamentally changed during the last twenty years. And this process of change and transition might not be finished yet. The digitalization of the medium has altered every aspect of photography, whether it is the photograph as an object, the position of the professional photographer, the function of the photo lab, the news agency or the photography museum.

In fact the question 'What's Next?' is about far more than 'just' the future of photography. It is also about the future of a society dictated by visual media, of a society in which people primarily communicate with technological tools that have been developed and made into consumer products with incredible speed. It is about the future of a society in which every layman can and will be a photographer, sharing his experiences with newly made online communities, a society in which the experience of time and space have drastically changed.

In short, 'What's Next?' is about the future of a medium and of a society in transition.

During the course of 2011 a series of activities involving a variety of experts will address the question, 'What's Next?'. Leading figures from artistic, technological and sociological fields are all asked to think with us and formulate an idea, a dream or a vision about what they believe the future holds. Based upon their specific knowledge, each expert will be asked to make a short, but inspiring statement on 'What's Next?'. You can read them here and then make your own contribution to the debate. This is your space and we hope you enjoy it.

The site is well worth a look: http://www.foam.org/whatsnext

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