Tuesday 15 November 2011

Flickr and the future of photography - new exhibition

I'm just back from a great trip to Berlin (more of that in later posts!) and took lots of photos whilst I was there.  I was uploading them all to Flickr and it made me think about the nature of photographs and how much it has changed in the digital age.  So when I read about a new exhibition in Amsterdam 'What's next?' exploring the future of photography it caught my interest.

There's such a proliferation of photographs - from people we know and people we don't know.  I quite happily share my photos via Twitter and Flickr, and now on Instagram.  I guess most people are nosy anyway and digital photos have just made it a lot easier to indulge in the habit of peeking into people's lives.  I'm certainly not complaining as I love seeing where my friend's have been, catching up on what friend's who don't live nearby are doing, and also seeing new places through the photos I see from people I don't know on Twitter and blogs.

It made me think about the value of photographs.  Does the huge number of photographs mean that we value them less? does the fact that we only develop a small percentage of what we take, if any at all, automatically mean we value them less? or is that just me being retro and old-fashioned?

The exhibition features four 'guest curators' and the one that jumped out at me was Erik Kessels with his investigation in to 'Photography in abundance'

installation by Erik Kessells at Foam, Amsterdam image courtesy of Creative Review

"We're exposed to an overload of images nowadays," says Kessels. "This glut is in large part the result of image-sharing sites like Flickr, networking sites like Facebook, and picture-based search engines. Their content mingles public and private, with the very personal being openly and un-selfconsciously displayed. By printing all the images uploaded in a 24-hour period, I visualise the feeling of drowning in representations of other peoples' experiences." taken from the Creative Review website, 15/11/2011
There's no way I'd ever develop all the photos I've stuck up on Flickr, because to be honest I don't think a lot of them are good enough.  However when I used to use a film camera I'd take loads of poor quality photographs and they'd be developed without me knowing how they'd turned out until I went to pick the film up.  Although my lack of skill as a photographer did mean I never hold out any great expectations of what my photographs will be like - digital or film!  Just looking at these images of the vast quantity of photos taken and uploaded in one day has made me think that I should maybe try and exercise a bit more control, or 'curation' as the buzzword is, over which images I put up.  I already do this when I get digital photos developed, select my favourites or the ones that are most representative of the holiday.

Foam is the acronym for 'The Future of Photography Museum' and going by this exhibition it sounds like an interesting place to visit.

1 comment:

  1. Had a great time at the photo museum FOAM, very nice exposition too! Luckily I found a cute place through holiday in Amsterdam.It was a nice clean house with a cute view on the canals.maybe worth checking it out for your next trip,not too expensive either!