Tutor: Brittonie Fletcher
In this six week course a wide range of photographic practices, from the medium’s conception in the 19th century to the modern uses of images and technology will be explored. We will have the opportunity to recognise photography as a Hyper-object and select thematic approaches for discovery and analysis.
By (re)addressing photography’s multiple histories: as an artistic medium, as social text, as a technological tool, and as a cultural practice, we aim to rewrite its history to better reflect the diverse range, complexity and overlap within the field with a focus on innovation, experimentation and material use (especially analogue).
No prior knowledge is needed or assumed but all will be welcomed and accommodated. The format will include some videos, presentations, readings and discussions and allow for fluidity of connections to be made within the themes of the session.
This course would benefit those interested in the history or theory of photography for interest or practical reasons. There will be opportunities for practicing artists to share work of their own for discussion or present relevant findings. The discussions will be grounded in a topic, but collaborative in approach and an expectation of no definitive answers – rather more inspiration for further enquiry.
Session One: Let There Be Light: Proto-Photo
Covering topics leading up to the invention of photography; looking at science, philosophy, history, related media, and early days of simultaneous invention or multiple discovery.
Session Two: Let Me Hear the Ladies in the Back
This session will begin to address the problematic nature of the history of photography – discussing issues that stem from the time and lead to a ‘boys club’ in the books and how this issue has carried on through the evolution of the media. This will be a launchpad for addressing feminist theories and exploring intersectional inclusivity.
Session Three: Scotland the Brave
An opportunity to take a closer look at the importance of Scottish or Scottish-based photographic contributions; beginning with the post-Enlightenment era into the Industrial Revolution and how the evolving socio-political landscape of the time contributed and how these might parallel with contemporary times.
Session Four: Non-Western Perspectives
Taking the focus off artists from Europe and North America with some readings and discussions.
Session Five: New Media Innovations
In this session we’ll continue to compare ideas between the Industrial and Digital Revolution. How have these technologies evolved to accommodate the times, and how has photography impacted (and also been impacted) by other industries and culture over the past nearly 200 years. We will also look at what ‘photography’, ‘lens-based’ and ‘media’ mean and theorise on how the media might shift in the future.
Session Six: What *is* Alternative?
We’ll dissect what the word ‘alternative’ means, in culture and history, and how the characteristics of ‘the alternative’ might change depending on time and perspective as trends grow or shift in popularity. Utilizing the topics covered, we will come up with our own ideas for discussion and students might choose to present an artist, style, method or collection to share their ideas.
Please note: all sessions will be conducted via Zoom. We would ask you to download this in advance and make sure you have a stable internet connection, but you do not need to have a Premium account.
Students, anyone over the age of 65, and those in receipt of any form of benefits can claim the concessionary price, offering a 10% discount on the full course price. Valid proof of eligibility must be produced on the first day of the course. Please use the code CONCESSION when prompted at checkout.